Taiwan machinery firms see growing demand in Africa

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: August 12, 2013 9:57 am ET
Updated: August 12, 2013 10:01 am ET

Image By: Steve Toloken Peter Pan, R&D director with Chumpower

Related to this story

Topics Africa, China, Packaging, Machinery

TAICHUNG, TAIWAN — Some companies in Taiwan's plastics machinery industry, which are often among the first to go into the newest "emerging" markets, are reporting significant increases in shipments to Africa.

Packaging seems to be a big driver. The continent, for example, now makes up 16 percent of sales for PET stretch blow molding machine maker Chumpower Machinery Corp., up from less than 5 percent five years ago.

Similarly, injection press maker Chuan Lih Fa Machinery Works Co. Ltd. said orders to Africa are growing by double-digit percentages annually.

And blow molding and extrusion equipment manufacturer Fong Kee International Machinery Co. Ltd. said it exported a little more than 10 percent of its $34 million in global sales to Africa last year, up from 3-4 percent of sales in 2011, and less before that. FKI executives predict that 10 percent figure will grow.

To put African sales in perspective, it remains much smaller than the traditional destinations for Taiwan's plastics equipment, China and Southeast Asia.

But during recent interviews at their factories in Taiwan, executives from several companies pointed to recent signs of robust African demand for plastics equipment.

Multinational cosmetics manufacturers are starting to invest, and that's creating needs in their supply chains for Fong Kee equipment, said Charles Wei, CEO of the Tainan, Taiwan-based firm. Demand is also rising for blow molding machines for larger containers such as jerry cans for fuel, he said.

"I think in the next five years many big companies will move into Africa," he said.

Peter Pan, R&D director with Chumpower, said they believe they're winning orders partly because African factories are shifting their business from mainland China factories.

"Right now, the customers in Africa, they want more reliable products," said Pan, in an interview at the firm's headquarters in Taichung. "They don't want to spend money to buy European machines. So they come to Taiwan and Korea to buy machines."

Africa is a significant focus of Chumpower's marketing. Beyond exhibiting at the world's largest plastics shows this year, Chinaplas and K in Germany, the company is exhibiting at shows in South Africa and Libya, and is planning for a trade show in Kenya next year.

In general, its sales to Africa have been spread fairly evenly, with Nigeria, Algeria, Tanzania and Ghana all accounting for at least 10 percent of sales to the continent, according to the company.

Chumpower engineer Tony Wu, who travels widely for the firm, including trips to Africa, the Middle East and one to North Korea, said he does not see signs of a slowdown among customers in many of the firm's emerging markets.

"I don't see the slowdown, when I travel there; if anything they are still growing," he said.

If you look at Taiwanese plastics and rubber machinery industry export data, Africa remains a small portion of sales, but exports to Nigeria increased 19 percent last year, and tripled to Algeria, albeit from a small base.

Taiwan, with 22 million people, has a very dense collection of plastics manufacturers and claims it's among the top five plastics and rubber machinery exporters worldwide.

The love for Africa is not universal among Taiwanese companies.

Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co. Ltd., Taiwan's largest injection press maker, with annual sales of about US$100 million, said it sees potential but the market may not be there yet in a big way for its equipment.

"They have lots of people, yes, but their industrial development is not very full range," John Hsieh, an executive with the Tainan-based firm. "We found we have a chance but … we should say the African industry is not ready yet."


Comments

Taiwan machinery firms see growing demand in Africa

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: August 12, 2013 9:57 am ET
Updated: August 12, 2013 10:01 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

China's Shide Group, BASF unveil 'revolutionary' all-plastic window profile

April 23, 2014 9:10 pm ET

SHANGHAI — The PVC window profile market in Asia is expected to increase four-fold by 2025, and Chinese building products maker Dalian Shide...    More

Image

CPM Extrusion, ECON launch new line of underwater pelletizers

April 23, 2014 11:25 am ET

CPM Extrusion Group and ECON GmbH unveiled their brand new EUPC line of underwater pelletizers today at ChinaPlas held in Shanghai, China.    More

Image

How CEO Santi is changing ITW

April 23, 2014 2:48 pm ET

Scott Santi is showing he can do more than just cut costs at Illinois Tool Works Inc.    More

Image

China's mold making sector plodding forward

April 23, 2014 1:25 pm ET

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching new highs, China's similar indexes are still hovering at a low level. What does the economic barometer ...    More

Image

TSM growing into a second generation of leadership

April 23, 2014 12:50 pm ET

This is a time of great growth for the Dundalk, Ireland-based TSM Control Systems, a company that has created a name for itself since 1977 by building...    More

Market Reports

Market Data Book - Rankings & Lists

A one-stop download of Plastic News' exclusive annual lists and processor rankings containing essential data including sales, employees, end markets, materials and more.
EXCLUSIVE EXCEL FEATURE: full mailing address details for available plant locations.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Mold Making and Tooling Review and Outlook 2014 North America

This report provides in-depth analysis of the mold and toolmaking market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats, the latest developments in production and labor and equipment trends impacting moldmakers.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events