China's trade surplus in molding machines grows four-fold in 2013

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: May 22, 2014 3:21 pm ET
Updated: May 23, 2014 6:25 am ET

Image By: Chinaplas/Adsale China is now exporting more injection molding machines than it imports.

Related to this story

Topics Injection Molding, Machinery, China

China’s trade surplus in injection molding machines increased substantially in 2013 — topping $200 million, a four-fold jump from 2012 — mainly because of a sizable drop in imports.

China is the world’s largest market for plastics equipment, and it’s historically been a sizable importer of machinery from Germany, Japan and elsewhere, fueling a solid export business for those countries.

But 2012 and 2013 marked a shift. They were the first two years that China carried a trade surplus in molding machines, which executives said reflected two broad trends: more global equipment makers building factories and machines in China, and the local industry getting more technically sophisticated.

The country exported $951 million worth of injection molding machines in 2013, while imports were $735 million, for a surplus of $216 million, according to figures from the Beijing-based China Plastics Machinery Industry Association.

That compares with a 2012 surplus of $49 million, on exports of $921 million and imports of $872 million, according to CPMIA figures. The statistics were disclosed by Haitian International Holdings Ltd., the country’s largest press maker, in a presentation to stock analysts.

In 2010, by comparison, China ran an injection molding machine trade deficit of more than $350 million.

 A Haitian executive said the China factories of international companies are increasingly purchasing Chinese-made equipment when they make capital investments.

“The international companies operating in China, they more and more buy local equipment,” said Helmar Franz, chief strategy officer for the Ningbo-based company. “Normally before they always brought their equipment [from abroad] and it was considered to be an import. There is a lot of change which I observe.”

Those companies are increasingly manufacturing in China for the local markets, rather than mainly to export, and are more willing there to buy Chinese-made equipment than in their homes countries, said Franz, who had a long career at Germany’s Demag Plastics Group before joining Haitian in 2005.

“To buy a Chinese machine in Germany is a crime. OK, not a crime but a catastrophe,” Franz said. “But in China, nobody asks.”

The drop in imports could also reflect sizable growth in the Chinese market last year.

Domestic sales by Chinese-owned plastics machinery makers of all types of equipment rose 12 percent in 2013 to $6.75 billion, CPMIA said, although officials with the association said they expect growth to slow to about 5 percent this year.

The trend of global plastics equipment companies increasing their investments in China was on display at the Chinaplas trade show, held in late April in Shanghai, with several firms announcing new investments.

Engel Holdings GmbH gave new details of its announcement from early April that it was setting up factory in Changzhou to launch lower-priced, standard machines for Asian buyers under a new brand.

The U.S. machinery maker Milacron LLC said it’s doubling capacity at its facility in Jiangyin, Jiangsu province, and Japan’s Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. plans to open a new facility in Taicang, Jiangsu province, in December, its second in China.

Nissei President Hozumi Yoda said his company’s expansion is mainly for the Chinese market, although he said the company may ship some injection units and other components from Taicang to its headquarters factory in Nagano.

The Japanese injection machinery sector has been steadily increasing production outside its home country, mainly in China and Southeast Asia, although figures from the Association of Japan Plastics Machinery show some leveling of that trend.

Japan’s industry made about 11,900 injection machines domestically and 2,500 in other countries in 2013, numbers that are expected in 2014 to remain roughly the same or grow by about 100 machines in each category, said Yoda, who is also chairman of the Tokyo-based AJPM.


Comments

China's trade surplus in molding machines grows four-fold in 2013

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: May 22, 2014 3:21 pm ET
Updated: May 23, 2014 6:25 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Gear pump maker Witte expands in Germany and USA

July 25, 2014 2:15 pm ET

Witte Pumps & Technology GmbH, the German maker of gear pumps for extrusion, has moved into a new headquarters factory in the Hamburg area, and the...    More

Image

Columbine Plastics moving to new Colorado site

July 25, 2014 11:38 am ET

Custom injection molder Columbine Plastics Corp. plans to move from Boulder, Colo., to the Colorado Technical Center in Louisville, Colo.    More

Image

Metals and plastics company NN to buy Autocam in $300 million deal

July 25, 2014 10:07 am ET

A Tennessee metals and plastics company said it has agreed to acquire auto parts supplier Autocam Corp. in a deal valued at $300 million.    More

Image

Chinese auto suppliers growing in US

July 24, 2014 4:17 pm ET

Two China-based automotive suppliers are expanding in the U.S., according to information released by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.    More

Image

Injection molder, recycler Polyvulc USA puts itself up for sale

July 24, 2014 12:41 pm ET

Fred Farrell and Larry Lambiotte, founders of Polyvulc USA Inc. and its subsidiaries Polyvulc Tire Recycling Llc and Winnsboro Rubber Recycling LLC, a...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

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

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

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