Styrolution wants bigger share of China market

By Nina Ying Sun
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: May 7, 2014 2:06 pm ET
Updated: May 7, 2014 2:12 pm ET

Image By: Styrolutions GmbH Roberto Gualdoni, CEO of Styrolution GmbH, at Chinaplas in Shanghai.

Related to this story

Topics Materials, China, Materials Suppliers, CHINAPLAS

SHANGHAI — Roberto Gualdoni, CEO of Styrolution GmbH, believes it’s just a matter of time until the German styrenics maker establishes its own production in China.

While acknowledging that China is a very competitive market with overcapacity at this moment, he noted: “It’s the most important market in the world, you can’t be a market leader without a plant in China.”

“It’s not a matter of whether we want to or not, it’s a matter of when.”

He made the comments at a news conference the company hosted in Shanghai during Chinaplas, April 23-26.

Greater China currently represents about 8 percent of Styrolution’s 5.8 billion euros ($8 billion) in global sales for 2013. Asia overall represents about 20 percent of that. “So there is still a long way we have to go,” he said.

Styrolution has an ongoing partnership with Hong Kong-based compounder Plastic World (China) Ltd., which has been manufacturing Styrolution’s ASA, ABS and high-heat ABS materials under a licensing agreement at PW’s Shenzhen factory.

In the rest of Asia outside of China, Styrolution seems to have a more established market position, with ASA production in South Korea, expanded ABS production in India and capacity in Southeast Asia, as well as R&D centers in Korea and India.

“We are the absolute market leader in India, uncontested,” Gualdoni added.

To expand its presence in China, however, Styrolution won’t take the normal bread and butter approach, Gualdoni added. The overcapacity and competitiveness of the market makes it critical to bring high value-added products, but the company needs to better understand how customers define value in China.

He said that’s the reason Styrolution has expanded its team in China and brought it to Shanghai to further explore customers’ exact needs.

“When we understand what the customers want, and how we can make our customers more successful, then we will be ready to take a look at investments or acquisitions.

“The biggest challenge is not so much a technological challenge, not even a financial challenge,” he said. “It is to understand what our customers really want… not now, not in three years, [but] in five years.”

Styrolution’s most recent push for China growth fits into its global “triple shift” strategy, which is focusing on emerging markets, ABS and specialty materials, and high-profit, high-growth customer industries.

Styrolution, a joint venture between Ineos and BASF, is the world’s largest maker of styrene monomer, polystyrene and styrenics-related specialty products. It’s also the world’s third largest maker of standard ABS.

Its global network includes 17 production bases, 6 R&D centers and 3,200 employees in 10 countries. It claims more than 1,000 active patents, 1,500 products, 2,000 applications across seven industries, and 4,000 customers.


Comments

Styrolution wants bigger share of China market

By Nina Ying Sun
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: May 7, 2014 2:06 pm ET
Updated: May 7, 2014 2:12 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

EPA fines RI polymer company

August 29, 2014 1:20 pm ET

A Rhode Island polymer manufacturer has reached a $60,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating federal clean...    More

Image

Haitian's standardization efforts paying off

August 29, 2014 9:53 am ET

Streamlined design efforts and robust export sales helped propel Ningbo, China-based injection molding machine manufacturer Haitian International...    More

Image

Chinese compounders seek market shares, often at the expense of margins

August 29, 2014 10:02 am ET

China's largest compounder, Kingfa Sci. & Tech. Co. Ltd., as well as its more automotive-focused counterparts Shanghai Pret Composites Co. Ltd. and...    More

Image

Green trend boosts plastic building materials business in China

August 29, 2014 9:42 am ET

The greening of China's domestic building materials market is giving the plastics industry a boost.    More

Image

PP prices rise 5 cents

August 28, 2014 3:59 pm ET

After a one-month break, volatility has returned to the North American polypropylene resin market, with prices increasing by an average of 5 cents per...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events