The China Plastics Processing Industry Association said the industry grew at a faster rate in 2006 than in 2005, when measured by the volume of plastics processed.
Overall, plastics output grew about 19 percent, compared with 13 percent in 2005, said CPPIA President Liao Zhengpin.
Dollarwise, the rate of growth declined 2 percentage points, from 26 percent in 2005 to 24 percent in 2006, while profit continued to grow at 30 percent.
CPPIA released its annual industry development data May 20 at the China-India Plastics Industry Summit 2007 in Guangzhou. The 2006 data was the result of a 12,860-company survey of state-owned plastics processors and nonstate-owned ``above-scale enterprises'' with annual sales of at least 5 million yuan ($657,000).
Plastic pipe, at 31 percent, showed the largest growth in output vs. the year before, followed by profiles and sheet, and then filaments and woven products.
Plastic pipe exports soared 40 percent to $574 million; imports jumped 27 percent to $377 million.
Total exports of plastics products rose 22 percent in dollar value. But they dropped in terms of weight of plastics resin used, due to technological barriers, anti-dumping actions by some foreign markets and revised government statistics, CPPIA said.
Last year, China consumed 88 billion pounds of virgin resin and nearly 11 billion pounds of recycled materials. Large amounts of domestic capacity are becoming available, and imports of commodity resins declined significantly in 2006, especially PVC, which fell 26 percent from the previous year.
Chinese processors also are growing larger. The number of ``above-scale enterprises'' rose from 6,230 in 2000 to 12,860 in 2006, government data said. CPPIA also said China houses 38 plastics processors with annual sales of more than 1 billion yuan ($131 million), 15 companies exceeding 2 billion yuan ($262 million), and six with more than 3 billion yuan ($394 million) in sales.
CPPIA said the number of plastics processors in China now tops 60,000.