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2011 engineering plastics sector to see increase of 10.93%
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2012-02-01 14:09

By Wang Huiqin

In 2010, the consumption volume of engineering plastics in China was as high as 2,443,000 tons, with sales revenue of about RMB 100billion Yuan. It is estimated that China's engineering plastics consumption in 2011 will reach 2,710,000 tons, an increase of 10.93 percent over 2010.



In Petrochemical Industry Adjustment and Reinvigoration Plan co-published by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, engineering plastics are explicitly included in the new materials sector, making it a key strategic emerging industry. In the next 4 or 5 years, demands for engineering plastics will continue to grow at a rate of more than 10 percent.  

Engineering plastics are mainly used in electronic appliances, machinery, automobiles, construction materials, and light industries. Globally, 42 percent of engineering plastics are used in the automobile industry, whereas in China, that number is only around 10 percent. It is estimated that the automobile industry will become the fastest growing field of engineering consumption in the next few years.   

The latest development trends of the automobile industry are weight reduction, energy saving, and space maximization; these trends will accelerate the process of intensive plastics usage in automobiles. 

It is learned that in developed counties, the average use of plastic in a vehicle is 120 kg, and the global average is around 105 kg. In China, however, the average use of plastic in a car is only 78 kg, accounting for 5 to 10 percent of the weight of the car. Therefore, it is estimated that there is a vast development room for automobile engineering plastics in China.

Besides, the requirements of low-carbon economy also promote the extensive use of engineering plastics in the automobile industry. According to the estimation of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), the reduction of 10 percent of the weight of a car can reduce fuel consumption by 6 to 8 percent. The use level of automobile plastics has become one of the criterions for measuring the development level of a country's automobile industry.

The National Development & Reform Commission has formulated relevant polities to accelerate the process of car parts localization and restrict the fuel consumption standard of automobiles. This is without a doubt a golden development opportunity for whole-car and car parts manufacturers and plastics materials suppliers.  

Presently, due to such factors as the intensifying of European debt crisis, raw materials price decrease, and seasonal demands slowdown, the prices of some engineering plastics have been going down since October, 2011; nonetheless, demands in the engineering plastics market remain robust. In its main downstream industries, demands for consumer electronics stay stable and growth in the automobile industry is vigorous, the housing industry being the only poorly performing market. As the application scope of solar energy and electric vehicles continues to expand, the engineering plastics industry will continue to grow precipitately in the future. 

During the 12th Five-year Plan, China's engineering industry will continue to grow, and its industrial structure and products structures will be further optimized. It is estimated a relatively complete engineering plastics industrial system dominated by domestic enterprises will be established in China by the end of the 12th Five-year Plan.

The author works for Donghai Securities Research Institute 
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