Chinese plastic container makers increased their production by 37.1 percent in the first fours months of 2006, leading the entire processing industry, which grew 17.9 percent compared to a year ago.
``This demonstrated the continuous stable development of the Chinese plastics industry, which grows twice as fast as [gross domestic product],'' said Liao Zhengpin, president of the China Plastics Processing Industry Association.
The output of plastics containers reached 1 billion pounds in January through April. Plastic pipe and tube production rose 35.4 percent to 1.5 billion pounds, followed by fiber and knitted products with a growth rate of 30.1 percent and output of 2 billion pounds.
The three markets with single-digit growth are synthetic leather at 1.35 percent, artificial leather at 8.14 percent and plastic film at 8.23 percent.
Resin suppliers and compounders have also had robust growth. The output of resins and compounds increased 22.6 percent, reaching 17.6 billion pounds. Notable growth has been observed in acrylics, which was up 23.5 percent in the first four months, compared to last year's annual growth rate of 12.3 percent.
``It is estimated that the apparent consumption of raw materials in 2006 grows faster than 2005,'' Liao said in a news conference at NPE.
The rebounding trend of machinery, pointed out by both Chinese and foreign press makers at Chinaplas, has been confirmed by the statistics. Press makers have beefed up their output by 27.4 percent in the first four months this year, although the market shrank by 5.39 percent in 2005.
China's imports and exports of plastic products in 2005 showed rapid growth in terms of value, 17.26 percent and 30 percent respectively. But based on volume, imports decreased 2.35 percent and exports went up 13.97 percent. Liao explained that China is making and buying higher-value-added products.
Also at NPE, Euromap secretary Joachim VettkÃ¶tter said, plastics machinery exported from Europe represent 54.6 percent of the world's exports. Yet, Europe's machinery exports to China only accounts for 39.4 percent of the world's exports to China. The Chinese market has been keen on Japanese presses, he explained. Another major machinery supplier to mainland China, Taiwan, also takes sizable share.