China’s polyurethane sector is becoming more sophisticated as government demands on producers and consumers’ demands on products increase. Simon Robinson spoke with the team at Momentive.
Growth in the Chinese polyurethane market has started to slow because of the impact of several key factors. These include the aggressive rise in PU raw material prices and the government’s policy to improve EHS, as well as a drive to higher technology and higher quality products especially for the export market, according to Tony Lanchak, global vice president of urethane additives at Momentive.
Talking at the recent PU China 2017 event in Guangzhou, China, he said that the 13th five-year plan called for a nuanced approach to growth, with some polyurethane sectors scheduled to grow, some shrink slightly, and others to follow the average of flat growth.
‘Many processors have closed because of extremely strong health and safety enforcement,’ Lanchak said, adding that emphasis has been on smaller flexible foam producers. Anecdotally, Urethanes Technology heard of towns where the whole flexible industry had been closed, and it was up to companies to prove they met the required standards before they were permitted to reopen.
Chinese foaming technology and companies are expanding outside China, and beginning to go global. ‘We are seeing Chinese starting-up new foam plants in South East Asia as well as in the US. Both flexible and rigid producers,’ Lanchak…