The coatings and ink industries have put tremendous emphasis on the Chinese market. Even during the global recession that heavily impacted most of the world, the Chinese coatings industry grew, with total output of China coatings manufacturing reaching 7.6 million tons in 2009, up 14 percent from 2008.
On the paint and coatings side, the largest international manufacturers all have built major operations in China, and as China's market continues to grow, paint makers like AkzoNobel, the world's largest, continue to invest more dollars in their China operations.
In October 2011, AkzoNobel announced it is investing approximately €60 million to increase the production capacity of its automotive and aerospace coatings business in China. This investment will provide additional momentum for the company's accelerated growth strategy of achieving revenue of $3 billion in China by 2015, and strengthen its leadership position in the country's automotive refinishes market. The story is similar at PPG, Henkel, Sherwin-Williams, DuPont and BASF.
The trends are the same on the ink side, as industry leaders such as DIC Corporation, Flint Group, Toyo Ink Group, Siegwerk and Sakata INX have all been heavily involved in the Chinese market.
It is no surprise then that CHINACOAT (The China Int'l Exhibition for Coatings, Printing Inks and Adhesives) continues to enjoy excellent growth as well, with this year’s 16th annual exhibition, held through Nov. 25 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), likely to draw record attendance.
Organized by Hong Kong-based Sinostar International Ltd., CHINACOAT will be the key event for the Chinese coatings, printing inks and adhesives industries, and the importance of the Chinese market will once again be clear to all the attendees at CHINACOAT.
“In the midst of a global financial meltdown, China now is the world’s fastest-growing economy,” Raymond Ho, Sinostar International’s CEO, said. “It is the world’s second largest producer and consumer of coatings and fourth for ink production.” Mr. Ho added that China is now the largest producer of powder coatings in the world, and automotive and architectural coatings are the two fastest-growing market sectors.
One of the great strengths of CHINACOAT is the ability to bring together the leaders of the Chinese paint, coatings and ink industries and leading raw material and equipment suppliers, and key exhibitors are pleased with the access CHINACOAT provides to influential industry leaders.
“As with previous years, Shamrock expects another good turnout at the show, offering the opportunity to interact with customers in a short time, and to get updates on the current state of the coatings industry and the impact of new government regulations,” said Joon Choo, vice president, Shamrock Technologies.
“CHINACOAT is the largest coatings trade show in the Asia Pacific region, and is a great platform for us to showcase our latest technologies as well as share our latest technical developments via their technical seminars,” said Yoke Loon, general manager Asia Pacific, Dow Coating Materials. “We feel that the show is quite well organized and has also expanded in reach over the years with more people coming from outside of China to view the exhibits.”
“Our sales to the China market have increased year by year,” said Jiro Suezawa, director, Specialty Chemicals Division, Kyowa Hakko Chemical Co., Ltd. “At this show, we expect to for a lot of relationships with existing and potential customers. We think CHINACOAT is one of the biggest and liveliest shows in the world.”
While the Chinese coatings and ink markets are the healthiest worldwide in terms of growth, the global economy may provide some challenges.
“Recent market feedback indicates changes largely due to shortages and tightness, and consequent price increases in the raw materials sector, coupled with limited ability to increase pricing on the customers' side,” Choo said. “The increased pressure has limited production and growth compared to prior years. We have seen cutbacks in output as well as a slowdown in sourcing due to the tighter inventory management.”
Choo noted that Shamrock is going ahead with expanding operations in its Tianjin plant.
“The export sector will likely lead the slowdown in growth given current economic issues in Europe and the U.S.,” Choo noted. “Domestic growth seems robust, but the tight labor market and inflationary pressures coupled with recent changes in the banking regulation are increasing the terms of trade, and slowing expansion especially for the smaller-sized companies. Shamrock is continuing to improve on its operations in our Tianjin plant, and increasing its product line offerings as the China coatings market continues to mature further.”
“The Chinese coatings market will still continue to grow, especially in the architectural paint market, driven by the booming real estate market and strong economic growth,” Loon said. “While we expect some slowdown due to the global economic situation, we are still optimistic about the situation in China and look forward to growth in this market.
Dow is expanding its production capacity in Greater China, adding technical service and R&D resources at the Shanghai Dow Center.
Suezawa noted that Kyowa Hakko Chemical Co., Ltd. recently established its subsidiary company Seika Trading to promote the company’s chemicals in China.
“Remarkable development has been made in China’s paint and coatings industry,” Suezawa said. “The Chinese economy has slowed down in second half of this year, but we believe this timing is good to make close connection with our customers. We don’t doubt the China market will continue to grow in the future. To promote our chemicals in the China market, we established our subsidiary company in Shanghai this year.”