RIL Reveals Quarterly Results; Polymers Demand Crashed by 50% but Soon to Bounce Back
- Journalist: Timothy Greene
India's polymer industry is eyeing on demand uptick after witnessing a muted first quarter which recorded almost 50% crash in quarterly sales numbers due to COVID-19 related uncertainties. As reflected in the recent quarterly results revealed by Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), the y-o-y sales of the three crucial polymers driving India’s plastic industry - polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – fell by more than 50% respectively. The company recorded a weak performance of its O2C (Oil to Chemicals) business hit by extended lockdowns, reduced manpower, logistic constraints and a severe credit crunch. RIL’s Q1 FY21 PE sales dropped to 79,000 tonnes from the last year’s 171,000 tonnes while PP fell to 89,000 tonnes from 185,000 tonnes. Despite facing downfall in its crucial polymer segment, the company got a support from strongly performing sectors like the monofilament, multifilament and raffia which are flourishing due to robust demand from the health and hygiene sector. In a recent webinar organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) on the ‘Impact and implications of Covid-19 on the plastics industry’ , RIL’s strategy development president Kamal Nanavaty and HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd’s (HMEL) CEO and managing director Prabh Das expressed their views on the current market situation. The personnel expressed their high hopes towards the sector’s early revival and are optimistic as India’s polymer consumption is likely to grow to nearly 32 million tonnes by 2030 from the figure of 22 million tonnes as of FY20. Moreover, it was stated that there has been strong focus of the domestic refiners to seek support from the Indian government towards revisiting all its free trade agreements (FTA) and reducing unnecessary imports in the country.