China's demand for packaging machinery is projected to grow 8.6 percent annually through 2009 to 35.9 billion yuan (US$4.4 billion).
Cleveland-based market researcher Freedonia Group Inc. also predicts China will become the world's second-largest market for packaging equipment, behind the United States.
According to Freedonia's new study, titled ``Packaging Machinery in China,'' China will displace Japan as the second-largest market by 2014.
Packaging machinery sales in China will be driven by growth in manufacturing, packaging materials use and associated fixed investment activity.
The food industry is the largest market for packaging machinery in China, the report said. Demand for equipment used to package medical, pharmaceutical and personal-care products will climb faster than the average growth rate.
Labeling and coding equipment will outpace other types of packaging machinery in sales. Demand for filling and form/fill/seal equipment also will grow at an above-average rate, remaining the most widely used type of packaging machinery in China.
The report said China will continue to rely on foreign supply sources for a number of sophisticated and specialized equipment types, but the overall trade deficit in packaging machinery will narrow.
China's packaging equipment industry, consisting of about 1,600 firms, will expand its shipments by 11.2 percent every year to 33.2 billion yuan (US$ 4.1 billion) in 2009.
China's primary manufacturing bases, the central-east and central-south regions, will continue to consume most packaging machinery.
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