Looking at the India's current demand and future projects for purified teraphthalic acid (PTA), it is poised to be second only to China in Asia when it comes to imports of PTA. In the recent years, India's polyester industry has exhibited a consistent growth, sourcing PTA from players including Reliance, Mitsubishi Chemical and Indian Oil Corp (IOC). Contrary to one or two cargoes of PTA imported every few months last year, the last six months this year has seen roughly 5000-6000 tons/month of PTA imports into India. Some even peg this figure as high as 20,000 tons/month. Though the exact figures of PTA imports are unknown, it is evident the number have gone up considerably. Reliance is considering augmenting PTA capacity but no new PTA plant would be seen before 2010. IOC and ONGC also have plans for setting PTA plants but the dates are not confirmed.
The main reason for rising imports is the inability of the PTA capacity additions to keep up with the rising polycondensation capacities. Against only one 800,000 tpa Haldia-based PTA plant been set up by Mitsubishi Chemical India, there are polycondensation capacity increases announced by JBF, Gardel Welspun, Jindal Poly Film, Bhilosa and Alok Industries in the same period. Till 2010, India will need to import around 200,000 tpa - 337,000 tpa if it wishes to source the polycondensation capacity additions by numerous companies. This PTA deficit will thereby lead to India been the second most aggressive importer of PTA after China in Asia.