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business | IST

China power outage hits chemical companies: Experts assess impact on Indian players

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The power outage in China has led to manufacturing parks either being closed or temporarily shut due to the shortage of electricity. This is expected to hit 25 percent of chemical production in the country. The biggest impact is seen on basic chemical companies and this has led to a sharp increase in prices of basic chemicals in India. Maulik Mehta, Executive Director and CEO at Deepak Nitrite, Rajendra Gogri, Chairman and Managing Director at Aarti Industries and Ravi Dharamshi, Chief Investment Officer at Valuequest Investment Advisors discussed this further.

The power outage in China has led to manufacturing parks either being closed or temporarily shut due to the shortage of electricity. This is expected to hit 25 percent of chemical production in the country. The biggest impact is seen on basic chemical companies and this has led to a sharp increase in the prices of basic chemicals in India.
Maulik Mehta, Executive Director and CEO at Deepak Nitrite, Rajendra Gogri, Chairman and Managing Director at Aarti Industries and Ravi Dharamshi, Chief Investment Officer at Valuequest Investment Advisors discussed this further in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
Deepak Nitrite looks at China as an alternate supplier based on prices.
“We do buy some raw material from China but not for a single raw material are we dependent on China. We have had as a strategy, over the last two years, a focus on de-risking our raw material supply from China. Today, none of Deepak’s products are dependent on China for the key raw materials,” Mehta said.
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He further believes this is an evolving situation. The company has hiked prices in October.
“There has been a marked difference between September beginning and October beginning in quite a few of our products,” he explained the rationale.
Aarti Industries' chemical segment is not dependent on China for raw materials, according to the management.
Ravi Dharamshi believes there is going to be a little bit of shift in the near future where "men will be separated from boys."
“Six-seven years back, the entire sector was available at about Rs 18,000-19,000 crore market cap. Stocks were quoting at single-digit P/E. Right now, anything that can go right for the sector is going right. The market cap of the entire sector has moved to Rs 4,50,000 crore. Investors have to put that into perspective. The newsflow remains extremely strong, but the valuations are also capturing a lot of that,” he explained.
“Companies that can pass on this raw material price hike – the freight cost hike, the energy cost hike – will be the ones that will come out strong and the smaller players will bear the brunt of the cost inflation,” he added.
When asked about stock names in the sector, he replied, “I will not be able to name anyone particular stock but already the couple of managements that are here on the panel, we are shareholders in both of them. We are happy shareholders,” he said.
The experts overall believe that the future for the industry is positive and there are a lot of tailwinds and valuations are also reflecting the same.
For the entire interview, watch the accompanying video.