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Top 10 Inorganic Chemicals Exported by India in 2023–24: Key Destinations and Their Industrial Applications

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Chemical exported from India

Introduction

The inorganic chemical industry plays a pivotal role in the global economy, forming the backbone of various essential sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, construction and technology. Inorganic chemicals are compounds that generally do not contain carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds. These chemicals encompass a wide range of substances, including metals, salts, acids, bases, and minerals. Unlike their organic counterparts, inorganic chemicals are primarily composed of minerals and other non-carbon-based materials. These chemicals are fundamental in producing fertilizers, metals, ceramics, and a myriad of other industrial and consumer products. India, with its vast natural resources and robust industrial base, has emerged as a significant player in the global inorganic chemicals market. 

In the financial year 2023-24, India showcased its prowess by significantly enhancing its export footprint, supplying a wide range of inorganic chemicals to markets across the globe. This period marked a notable uptick in both volume and value of exports, driven by a combination of advanced manufacturing capabilities, strategic trade policies, and an increasing global demand for high-quality inorganic materials. The country’s commitment to sustainability and innovation in chemical production has further bolstered its position on the world stage.

This article delves into the top 10 inorganic chemicals that were exported from India during financial year 2023-24, offering a comprehensive analysis of each chemical. We aim to present a detail applications, top importing countries, price and market trends associated with these chemicals during financial year 2023-24 that underscores the critical role of India’s inorganic chemical industry in the global supply chain.

 

India’s Top 10 Inorganic Chemical Exports

Rank 1: Calcined alumina

Calcined alumina is a high-purity aluminium oxide produced by heating bauxite to remove water content. It is well-known for its exceptional hardness, high melting point, and thermal conductivity, making it important in various industries.

Applications:

  • It is mainly used in aluminium smelting as a crucial raw material for aluminium production.
  • Its refractory properties also make it suitable for linings in high-temperature furnaces, kilns, and reactors.
  • The ceramic industry uses calcined alumina for making tiles, spark plugs, and other high-performance components.
  • In addition, the abrasive industry relies on it to produce grinding wheels and sandpapers.

Trade Statistics:

In the financial year 2023-24, India exported 1,943,980 metric tons of calcined alumina, valued at $697.21 million USD. These significant figures highlight the strategic importance of calcined alumina in various industrial sectors globally and reinforce India’s position as a leading supplier of calcined alumina in the global market.

Top Export Destinations for Indian Calcined alumina:

COUNTRY NAME

EXPORT QUANTITY (MT)

OMAN

            5,19,194

RUSSIA

            4,29,804

UNITED KINGDOM

            3,94,781

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

            2,76,170

CHINA

            1,39,605

EGYPT

               61,870

QATAR

               61,200

INDONESIA

               61,200

DOMINICAN REPULIC

                     150

OTHERS

                          6

TOTAL

         19,43,980

Calcined Alumina Price &Volume Trend:

Rank 2: Carbon Black

Carbon black is a versatile chemical compound made from elemental carbon, produced through the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. Its distinct black color and unique properties make it essential across various industries.

Applications:

  • Primarily, carbon black is widely used in the rubber industry as a reinforcing agent, enhancing the strength and durability of tires and other rubber products.
  • Additionally, it is used as a pigment and performance enhancer in plastics, coatings, and inks, providing desirable properties and coloration.

Trade Statistics:

In the financial year 2023-24, India exported 272,974 metric tons of carbon black, valued at $362.29 million USD. This significant export quantity reflects the extensive demand and diverse industrial applications of carbon black, underscoring India’s position as a leading player in the carbon black market.

Top Export Destinations for Indian Carbon Black:

COUNTRY NAME

EXPORT QUANTITY (MT)

THAILAND

               33,288

SRI LANKA

               30,781

UNITED STATES

               22,793

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

               18,862

VIETNAM

               17,055

POLAND

               15,707

INDONESIA

               13,648

TURKEY

               12,474

VIETNAM

               11,033

OTHERS

               97,332

TOTAL

            2,72,974

Carbon Black Price &Volume Trend:

Rank 3: Caustic Soda Flakes

Caustic soda flakes, also known as sodium hydroxide (NaOH), is an important inorganic chemical with a wide range of industrial applications. These flakes are solid and easily dissolve in water, displaying strong alkaline properties.

Applications:

  • Caustic soda flakes are extensively used in industries such as pulp and paper, textiles, soap manufacturing, aluminium production, petroleum refining, and water treatment.
  • In the pulp and paper industry, they are crucial for the delignification process, while in textiles, they aid in mercerization and dyeing.
  • Additionally, they are a key ingredient in the production of household cleaning products and detergents.

Trade Statistics:

During the financial year 2023-24, India exported 263,628 metric tons of caustic soda flakes, valued at $124.38 million USD. These export figures highlight India’s significant role as a major supplier of caustic soda flakes in the North-East Africa, Middle East, and Asian regions.

Top Export Destinations for Indian Caustic Soda Flakes:

COUNTRY NAME

EXPORT QUANTITY (MT)

TANZANIA

               30,060

SOUTH AFRICA

               25,800

KENYA

               18,516

INDONESIA

               15,981

GHANA

               15,203

COTE D IVOIRE

               13,471

MOZAMBIQUE

               12,516

NIGERIA

               12,024

VIETNAM

               10,213

OTHERS

            1,09,844

TOTAL

            2,63,628

Caustic Soda Flakes Price &Volume Trend:

Rank 4: Soda Ash Light

Soda ash light, also known as sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), is an essential inorganic chemical widely used in various industries around the world. In its light form, soda ash is a white, odorless powder that is soluble in water.

Applications:

  • This compound has a wide range of applications and is extensively used in the production of glass, detergents, soaps, and various chemicals.
  • In the glass industry, soda ash acts as a fluxing agent, lowering the melting point of silica and aiding in the formation of glass.
  • It also plays a crucial role in water softening processes, textile processing, and serves as a pH regulator in various industrial applications.

Trade Statistics:

In the financial year 2023-24, India exported 251,190 metric tons of soda ash light, with a total export value of $74.23 million USD. These export figures highlight India’s significant contribution to the global soda ash market, emphasizing its importance in numerous industries.

Top Export Destinations for Indian Soda Ash Light:

COUNTRY NAME

EXPORT QUANTITY (MT)

BANGLADESH

            1,10,360

PHILIPPINES

               31,421

INDONESIA

               28,945

NEPAL

               14,920

SRI LANKA

               13,902

TANZANIA

                  8,516

MYANMAR

                  6,309

THAILAND

                  5,312

VIETNAM

                  5,272

OTHERS

               26,236

TOTAL

            2,51,190

Soda Ash Light Price &Volume Trend:

Rank 5: Sodium Sulphate Anhydrous

Sodium sulfate anhydrous is a crystalline white solid chemical compound with versatile industrial applications. It is widely soluble in water and is used in various sectors, including detergent manufacturing, paper production, and textile dyeing.

Applications:

  • In detergent manufacturing, it acts as a filler, enhancing the volume and flow properties of detergent powders.
  • Similarly, in the paper industry, it aids in pulp digestion and improves paper strength as an additive.
  • In textile dyeing, anhydrous sodium sulfate serves as a dye auxiliary, facilitating the uniform distribution of dyes on fabrics.

Trade Statistics:

Throughout the financial year 2023-24, India exported 227,340 metric tons of anhydrous sodium sulfate, resulting in a total export value of $20.73 million USD. These export statistics underline India’s significant presence in the global Sodium Sulphate Market.

Top Export Destinations for Indian Sodium Sulphate Anhydrous:

COUNTRY NAME

EXPORT QUANTITY (MT)

TANZANIA

               37,330

JORDAN

               33,341

KENYA

               24,495

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

               24,368

BANGLADESH

               19,288

OMAN

               17,697

SAUDI ARABIA

               15,615

THAILAND

               12,422

QATAR

               11,254

OTHERS

               31,531

TOTAL

            2,27,340

Anhydrous Sodium Sulphate Price &Volume Trend:

Rank 6: Hydrochloric Acid 33%

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) at a concentration of 33% is a crucial chemical compound widely used in various industries. It typically appears as a colorless, highly corrosive liquid with a distinct pungent odor. Hydrochloric acid 33%, with its reduced water content, has increased potency for industrial applications.

Applications:

  • It is extensively used in pharmaceuticals, food processing, and metal cleaning.
  • In the pharmaceutical industry, it is an essential component in the production of medications, including various drugs and vitamins.
  • In food processing, it is used in the production of food additives and preservatives.
  • Additionally, anhydrous hydrochloric acid plays a significant role in metal cleaning processes due to its efficient ability to dissolve rust and scale.

Trade Statistics:

During the financial year 2023-24, India exported 151,704 metric tons of hydrochloric acid 33%, with a total export value of $14.99 million USD. These export figures reaffirm India’s position as a leading exporter of Hydrochloric Acid in the global market.

Top Export Destinations for Indian Hydrochloric Acid 33%:

COUNTRY NAME

EXPORT QUANTITY (MT)

MALAYSIA

               32,802

SOUTH AFRICA

               26,066

NEPAL

               13,704

KENYA

                  7,976

NIGERIA

                  6,773

TURKEY

                  6,698

GHANA

                  4,962

TANZANIA

                  2,846

SENEGAL

                  2,744

OTHERS

               47,133

TOTAL

            1,51,704

Hydrochloric Acid 33% Price &Volume Trend:

Rank 7: Caustic Soda Lye

Caustic soda lye is a highly corrosive chemical that usually appears as a clear, viscous liquid, and is known for its strong alkaline properties. This compound is widely used in various industries, including pulp and paper, textiles, and chemical manufacturing.

Applications:

  • In the pulp and paper sector, caustic soda lye is crucial in the pulping process, as it helps break down lignin and facilitates fiber separation.
  • Similarly, in the textile industry, it is used in scouring and bleaching processes to prepare fibers for dyeing.
  • Additionally, caustic soda lye is a key ingredient in chemical manufacturing, especially in the production of detergents, soaps, and various organic compounds.

Trade Statistics:

In the 2023-24 financial year, India exported 1,46,556 metric tons of caustic soda lye, with a total export value of $51.66 million USD, highlighting India’s significant presence in the global caustic soda lye market.

Top Export Destinations for Indian Caustic Soda Lye:

COUNTRY NAME

EXPORT QUANTITY (MT)

SAUDI ARABIA

               34,247

SOUTH AFRICA

               25,340

SINGAPORE

               21,000

INDONESIA

               19,266

KENYA

               18,760

VIETNAM

               11,698

URUGUAY

                  7,219

OMAN

                     451

NEW ZEALAND

                     175

OTHERS

                     8,400

TOTAL

            1,46,556

Caustic Soda Lye Price &Volume Trend:

Rank 8: Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is an essential inorganic chemical that appears as a white, crystalline solid with hygroscopic properties. It easily absorbs moisture from the air and dissolves in water to create a clear, colorless solution. This compound has diverse applications across various industries.

Trade Statistics:

  • In the construction sector, calcium chloride is utilized as a de-icing agent for roads and pavements during winter, effectively melting ice and snow.
  • It also functions as a desiccant in concrete production, promoting the curing process and enhancing the strength and durability of concrete structures.
  • Furthermore, calcium chloride is used in the oil and gas industry for drilling and completion fluids, as well as in food processing for preserving and firming fruits and vegetables.

Trade Statistics:

During the 2023-24 financial year, India exported 92,165 metric tons of calcium chloride, with a total export value of $23.40 million USD. These export statistics highlight India’s significant role in the global calcium chloride market.

Top Export Destinations for Indian Calcium Chloride:

COUNTRY NAME

EXPORT QUANTITY (MT)

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

               38,467

OMAN

               15,707

KUWAIT

                  6,478

VIETNAM

                  5,368

MALAYSIA

                  3,932

NIGERIA

                  3,356

THAILAND

                  2,892

VIETNAM

                  2,241

ANGOLA

                  2,036

OTHERS

               11,688

TOTAL

               92,165

Calcium Chloride Price &Volume Trend:

Rank 9: Aluminium Chloride Anhydrous

Aluminium chloride anhydrous is a white to pale yellow crystalline solid known for its strong Lewis acid properties and solubility in organic solvents. This compound is widely used across various industries.

Applications:

  • In the chemical industry, anhydrous aluminium chloride acts as a catalyst in organic synthesis reactions such as Friedel-Crafts alkylation and acylation.
  • It is also used in the production of dyes, pharmaceuticals, and fragrances.
  • In the petrochemical sector, it is essential for polymerization processes, especially in the production of plastics and synthetic rubbers.
  • Additionally, aluminium chloride anhydrous is used in wastewater treatment to coagulate and remove impurities.

Trade Statistics:

In the financial year 2023-24, India exported 82,243 metric tons of aluminium chloride anhydrous, with a total export value of $33.81 million USD. These figures demonstrate India’s substantial contribution to the global anhydrous aluminium chloride market and emphasize its crucial role in diverse industries.

Top Export Destinations for Indian Aluminium Chloride Anhydrous:

COUNTRY NAME

EXPORT QUANTITY (MT)

MALAYSIA

               14,658

BELGIUM

               13,330

UNITED STATES

                  7,623

SRI LANKA

                  3,911

SOUTH AFRICA

                  3,866

SINGAPORE

                  3,692

PUERTO RICO

                  3,472

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

                  2,832

UNITED KINGDOM

                  2,786

OTHERS

               24,474

TOTAL

               80,644

Anhydrous Aluminium Chloride Price &Volume Trend:

Rank 10: Soda Ash Dense

Soda ash dense, chemically known as sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), is a vital inorganic compound used extensively in various industrial applications. Distinguished by its high bulk density, soda ash dense is a white, granular substance that is highly soluble in water.

Applications:

  • This compound plays a crucial role in the glass manufacturing industry, where it serves as a fluxing agent, reducing the melting temperature of silica and aiding in the production of glass products.
  • Additionally, it is used in the manufacture of detergents and soaps, where it acts as a water softener.
  • The chemical industry also utilizes soda ash dense in the production of various sodium-based compounds and as a pH regulator in numerous processes.

Trade Statistics:

During the financial year 2023-24, India exported 79,093 metric tons of soda ash dense, amounting to an export value of $25.12 million USD. These export figures highlight India’s substantial presence in the global soda ash dense.

Top Export Destinations for Indian Soda Ash Dense:

COUNTRY NAME

EXPORT QUANTITY (MT)

SAUDI ARABIA

               18,786

BANGLADESH

               13,024

SOUTH AFRICA

                  8,634

KUWAIT

                  5,824

CHINA

                  5,040

THAILAND

                  3,128

TANZANIA

                  2,684

SRI LANKA

                  2,587

JORDAN

                  2,197

OTHERS

               17,191

TOTAL

               79,093

Soda Ash Dense Price &Volume Trend:

Conclusion

The financial year 2023-24 has been a remarkable period for India’s inorganic chemical industry. The top 10 inorganic chemicals exported from India during this period underscore the country’s strategic importance in the global supply chain, driven by its vast natural resources, advanced manufacturing capabilities, and commitment to innovation and sustainability.

The diverse applications of these chemicals, ranging from calcined alumina in aluminium smelting to soda ash dense in glass manufacturing, underscore their essential roles in various industries worldwide. Countries such as Oman, Russia, the United States, and South Africa have relied heavily on India for their inorganic chemical needs, reflecting the country’s reputation as a reliable supplier. This significant export activity not only enhances India’s economic standing but also contributes to the development of global industries that depend on these vital chemicals.

As we look ahead, India’s continued focus on sustainable practices and technological innovation will be key to maintaining and enhancing its position in the global inorganic chemical market. By leveraging its industrial expertise, India is well-positioned to support and drive global industrial growth, ensuring its status as a pivotal player in the international arena. The impressive export performance in 2023-24 highlights India’s capability to deliver high-quality inorganic chemicals and sets a promising foundation for future growth and expanded influence worldwide.

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