by Liz White, editor
If polyurethanes are a business where megatrends are important, then the influence of the Chinese market on the sector could probably be considered a single megatrend in its own right.
China has rebounded speedily from recession, aided by strong government incentives, and growth in polyurethanes is high.
China’s government is also strongly committed to developing a low carbon economy, which experts feel will stimulate growth in the use of PU insulation in construction.
Another recent trend commentators at the recent PU China 2010 event observed is a move for Chinese manufacturers to focus more on supplying the domestic market, and away from exports.
One local urethanes expert, Zhang Jie, of the China Polyurethane Industry Association noted that this focus on the domestic market resulted from the effect of the global financial crisis on China’s export-oriented industries, which meant production of toys, textiles, synthetic leather and shoes, with high PU content, shrunk.
Zhang also made the observation that China needs to become “stronger” in PU — not just bigger, in a presentation he wrote for the Korean Polyurethane Society’s International Forum, as reported on p 11 of this issue.
At present, Zhang feels, the industry is fragmented, with China’s current 5 million tonnes of PU(2009) used by thousands of small, non-consolidated processors, he said (see box p19 for CPUIA data on China’s PU sector).