Guangzhou, Guangdong – Dow Chemical saw $6bn PU business sales last year and finds great potential in the Asia Pacific region, according to its press conference held on 1 September, 2015 in Guangzhou.
The world’s per capita PU consumption has risen from 3lb ( 1.4kg) in 2005 to 4lb this year, and is expected to reach 6lb in 2025, thanks to the increasing demand for composites in areas such as energy efficiency, the company said. Dow plans to tap the purchasing power of the world’s growing middle class, of which 60% will be in the Asia Pacific region by 2030, it said.
For instance, market penetration for refrigerators starts to take off when per capita income hits about $2,500, “and the Asia Pacific market is in the skyrocketing phase,” said Anand Sundaresan, commercial director of Dow Chemical’s Asia Pacific polyurethanes unit.
“We have plans to add new system houses to the region in the next few years to be closer to the customers in the end markets,” he added.
“The rigid foam sector grows at a rate correlative to GDP growth, usually 1.5 times the latter – if the region’s GDP grows at 5% in the next few years, it would mean a 7.5% rate for rigid foams,” Sudaresan said.
“China may be a different story though, given the negative economic factors” added Gu Wei, marketing director of the Asia Pacific polyurethanes unit. “Even the refrigerator market in China saw a drop in demand last summer, when the market is supposed to be most robust.”
Still, China contributed 7.4% of Dow’s $58bn revenue in 2014 as its second largest international market after the US, and Dow’s faith in the whole region is strengthening.
The company schedules to put Sadara, its $20bn joint venture with Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia, into operation in 2016. Sadara plans to supply 49% of its products – polyols and isocyanates including MDI and TDI – to the Asia Pacific market.