Guangzhou, Guangdong – China’s catalysts and surfactants maker OSIC Performance Materials (Shanghai) launched a new low odor, low VOC flexible foam surfactant at the PU China 2017 event.
‘China’s [flexible foam] sector didn’t see much growth over the past year due to factors such as rising feedstock prices, but it’s moving towards finer processing,’ OSIC’s general manager Ike Guo told UTECH-polyurethane.com in an exclusive interview.
China has more strict standards for aldehydes emissions in the automotive sector, but still hasn’t promulgated its own such standards for home furnishing, he said.
China’s latest round of environmental inspection is also changing the sector’s landscape. Almost all flexible foam makers in Shanghai, one of China’s cities with the most stringent environmental regulations, could be shut down or relocated, Guo said.
‘A majority of those old plants are lacking environmental certificates, and the smaller companies simply don’t have sufficient capital to build new facilities that meet such requirements,’ Guo pointed out.
Guo expects the count of China’s flexible foam makers to fall from about 2,000 to a few hundred, similar to the current number in the US, over the next five to ten years. ‘Only larger companies with stronger research abilities can meet the clients’ demand for finer processing,’ he said.
Guo predicts OSIC’s revenue will jump over 70% to CNY 200m ($31m) this year, 35% of which will come from overseas markets. The company hopes to raise overseas sales to half of total sales over the next few years.
‘We’ve been selling to the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia and are just entering the Central and South America,’ said Guo. ‘It’s a less open market and has larger import demand.’
Exchange Rates: Xe.com 4 September 2017