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China firm seeks US partners for compounding, distribution

By: Nina Ying Sun

April 4, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 4, 6:45 p.m. ET) — Panjin Zhongrun High Performance Polymers Co. Ltd., which claims to be the second largest PEEK supplier in the world with annual capacity of 1,200 metric tons, is seeking compounding and distribution partners in United States.

As a newcomer to PEEK field, Panjin Zhongrun acquired technology from China’s Jilin University in 2008 and started mass production last year, said Steven Xu, marketing and sales director. Evonik also uses the same technology from Jilin University to make PEEK.

Annual total demand of the global market current logs in at 4,000 metric tons, mostly from the semi-conductor and aerospace industries, Xu said, and the industry leader Victrex alone has 3,000 metric tons of capacity.

With a lofty price tag — about $80 per kilogram – Panjin Zhongrun said its PEEK polymers focus on export to Europe and North America. The Chinese PEEK market in growing by 20-25 percent annually, but the sheer volume still is low – only 2-3 percent of the global total.

The U.S. currently ranks as Panjin Zhongrun’s second largest market, only after Germany.

The company, based in Panjin, Liaoning province, is looking for compounding and distribution partners in the U.S.  Xu said he has arranged to visit a few potential partners right after NPE. “We realize that, unlike Germany, the U.S. market is vast and features regional industry clusters. That’s why we are looking in different regions for multiple partners.”

One of priorities for the company is to raise its profile and make Western customer aware of and trust its products, Xu said.

“We have some price advantages, about 5 to 10 percent lower than Western competitors’, but not more than that,” he said, “We use the same technology as Evonik’s. And we pay the same prices for the monomers, and materials production is not a labor-intensive industry where you’d expect to see a significantly lower ‘China price.’”