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Chinese automotive plastics demand rises

February 2, 2006

2 Min Read
Chinese automotive plastics demand rises

Plastics consumption in China''s automotive industry has grown 27.8% each year from 1994 to 2004, according to a new report from Research and Markets (Dublin, Ireland). The report forecasts that China''s automotive industry''s demand for plastics will increase by 15.4% annually to 1.414 million tonnes by the year 2009. This strong growth is a result of the rapid development of China''s automobiles industry, which was expected to take over from Japan as the number two global market by 2010 according to a recent KPMG report, but actually did so last year according to figures published by the China Assn. of Automobile Manufacturers wherein Chinese automakers sold 5.92 million vehicles in China in 2005, while Japan registered sales of 5.82 million vehicles (e-weekly Jan. 23-27).

China''s domestic production of plastics for automotive applications has been advancing rapidly. Production of plastics for automotive parts processing reached 219,300 tonnes in 2004. It is forecast this output will increase to 504,430 tonnes by the year 2009, growing at 18.1% per annum.

China will, however, continue to remain a large importer of plastics to meet the growing domestic automotive industry demand. In 2004, China''s automotive industry imported 482,400 tonnes of plastics. It is forecast that China''s automotive industry''s plastics imports will increase to 951,260 tonnes by the year 2009.

In China, there were more than 1100 state-owned, local government-owned, private and foreign-funded automotive plastics compounders in 2004, with total capacity of 261,070 tonnes. Capacities amounted to 6310 tonnes for polyethylene, 11,190 tonnes for polyvinyl chloride, 60,170 tonnes for polypropylene, 3570 tonnes for polystyrene, 4760 tonnes for phenolic resins, 76,190 tonnes for polyurethane, 5590 tonnes for acrylics, 7140 tonnes for unsaturated polyester, 34,520 tonnes for acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, 14,290 tonnes for engineering plastics, and 36,430 tonnes for other plastics.

The majority of automotive plastics producers are small companies that compound several thousands tonnes of automotive plastics products per annum. Currently, the Chinese government is restructuring the industry. Many companies have formed alliances or merged into large chemical groups.-Stephen Moore; [email protected]

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