To cope with rising demand, glass manufacturers of the country plan to invest Rs70bn (or $1.6bn) over the next two-to-three years on expansion and upgrading, according to Mukul Somany, the president of All India Glass Manufacturers’ association and the vice-chairman of Hindustan National Glass, one of India’s leading glass producers.
India’s per capita glass consumption is 1.4kg for container glass, used for making jars and bottles, and 0.8kg for flat glass, used in the construction and automotive industry. This is much lower than the 8-9kgs per person average for both types of glass in other developing countries such as China, Thailand and Malaysia. In the developed world, the average is 20–22 kg.
Starting from a low base, the Rs90bn ($2bn) glass industry in India is forecast by the association to grow 10 – 12 per cent annually over the next 3 years.
Most of the glass demand in India currently comes from container glass, which accounts for 50 per cent of the country’s glass consumption by value, according to Somany. With a market size of Rs45bn, the bulk of this type of glass in domestically produced and used for alcoholic beverages, food and pharmaceuticals.
Lifestyle changes and rising disposable incomes have pushed up the sales of alcohol, ready-meals and other processed foods, usually stored in glass bottles and jars. Somany said this could stimulate demand for container glass, which is forecast to grow at 12 per cent annually over the next 3 years.
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