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Chemical industry in India - statistics & facts

With over 80 thousand products, the Indian chemical industry is one of the most diversified sectors. It supports a host of other sectors and acts as a backbone in the development process of the nation. The Indian chemical industry is one of the largest worldwide, in terms of revenue. 100 percent foreign direct investment was permitted under the automatic route within this sector, with some exceptions for hazardous chemicals. Since financial year 2016, there were FDI investments of over one billion U.S. dollars each year in the chemical sector excluding fertilizers. Excluding chemicals of hazardous nature, the chemical industry in India was de-licensed. In the first six months of 2020, there were 24 acquisitions of Indian companies by international players.

This industry was segregated into three main groups based on either consumption volume or usage. Over 50 percent of chemicals manufactured in the country were classified as base chemicals. Organic and inorganic chemicals, bulk petrochemicals, dye, and pigments are some under this category. Base chemicals were also known as bulk chemicals, as they are manufactured on a large scale and used as intermediates to produce other chemicals.

Another category was specialty chemicals that comprised of another wide variety. It included paints, adhesives, water treatment chemicals, flavors and fragrances, paper additives, chemical sealants, to name a few. The consumption volume of these chemicals is lower in comparison to base chemicals as they are used based on application. These chemicals are derived from base chemicals and are also known as performance chemicals. This sector is expected to grow in the future based on increased local demand, higher export share, and supportive government policies. Lately, there was an increased investment in this sector, especially by private equity investors.

Based on usage, the chemicals used for the protection of agricultural harvest from insects and pests were classified as agrochemicals. This comprised of various insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides. The south Asian country was one of the leading agrochemical producers in the world. India was a net exporter of agrochemicals, thereby contributing significant foreign revenue in the state exchequer. Over two-thirds of the revenue generated by the agrochemical sector came from the organized sector. United Phosphorus Limited, one of the major players in this sector, was among the leading agrochemical companies in the world, based on its sales value. The chemical sector being heterogeneous included a vast number of players both from the private and public sector. To further boost the growth of this sector, the central government had planned schemes worth over two billion Indian rupees.

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Chemical industry in India

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Leading chemicals manufactured


Major players


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