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Injection molding tools is one of the trade categories targeted by Trump tariffs.

Stephen Moore

April 10, 2018

2 Min Read
Chinese toolmakers make trip to NPE under tariff clouds

The city of Huangyan, in Jiangsu Province, China, would be unknown to many in the plastics industry for sure but it’s well represented at NPE, with at least six toolmakers making the trip half-way round the world to Orlando. Like many industrial cities in Eastern China, it specializes in a particular commodity—at one point in the 2000s, the self-described China Mold City reportedly fabricated as many as 70% of the injection molds made in China.

The city of Huangyan is mold-making central in China. (Photo: Pan Shibo)

The six Huangyan toolmakers at NPE: Taizhou Shinywell Mould & Plast Tech Co., Ltd. (S17140), Taizhou Huangyan Jinnuo Mould (S36194); Taizhou Bona Mould (S31075); Taizhou Huangyan Yongmao Mould (S32072); Taizhou Huangyan Yuantu Mould & Plastic (S10151); and Aojie Mould (S17141); may be having second thoughts re their attendance given some time later this year, their molds may be subjected to 25% tariffs. Having said that, their pricing will probably remain competitive given the nonexistence of viable low-cost alternatives with sufficient manufacturing capacity to serve the US market.

According to a Chinese supplier of high-end stack molds that will also have a presence at NPE, any tariffs could deter potential US buyers of its molds, but the overall feeling is that “It will not stop those US customers who must have certain molds, especially if there are not many options to source in the US.” The supplier adds: “High end molds like we make traditionally come from Europe or Canada, so our price, even with extra tariffs, is still going to be more than competitive.”

The US imported $451,867,108-worth of injection molding tools in 2017 from China. Total imports were valued at close to $2 billion, of which around $950 million-worth was imported from Canada, which is home to the likes of Husky (W1303) and Milacron group company Mold-Masters (W2703). Then follows Japan with $130 million of exported to the US in 2017, and Germany with $108 million. South Korea rounded out the top five with $103 million of exports to the US.

Based on average values, it would appear that China and South Korea compete in similar market segments, whereas the other main mold supplying nations participate in the high end of the market.


About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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