It comes as no surprise that the yellow pavilion at La Rural Exhibition Center, where most machinery exhibitors were located, became known among Argenplas 2006 visitors as ``China Town.''
China was the third most important country in terms of event participation. Various brands from Taiwan, South Korea or Hong Kong also had strong presence either directly or through representatives.
``It is a China invasion,'' said Jorge A. Reznik, sales manager for Italian blow molding machine supplier Magic MP SpA.
In just about five years, China has gone from being the 11th to the third-biggest exporter of primary and auxiliary equipment to Argentina's plastics industry, behind only traditional global suppliers from Germany and Italy.
Taiwan held the No. 6 position among exporters of plastics equipment between 2001 and 2005.
``Argentine molders purchase Asian equipment mainly due to price,'' said sales executive Fabio Vazquez of Eldan SACIFIA of Buenos Aires.
Eldan represents Chinese injection molding machine makers Ningbo Hengrun Plastic Machinery Co. Ltd. and Ningbo (Fully) Zhenhai Fuda Machinery Co. Ltd., as well as press supplier Taiwanese Asian Plastic Machinery Co. Ltd., also a press supplier.
Hydraulic movement models made by Ningbo and Fully are sold in Argentina starting at $15,000, while hydraulic Asian Plastic presses also are sold starting at $30,000.
As a long-time representative of those three brands, Eldan works with a local inventory and displayed a piece of machinery for each brand. By the fourth day of the show, they had all been sold.
According to Vazquez, total revenues in Argentina for Eldan's injection molding division amounted to about $300,000 in 2005, from the sale of 20 machines. Such figures are expected to repeat in 2006.
``We may not exceed last year's sales because of the competition from other Chinese brands. It is very strong,'' he said.
Eldan also sells auxiliary equipment and machinery parts.