Production of plastics processing machinery in 2010 was valued at just over RMB40 billion ($5.9 billion) according to the China Plastics Machinery Industry Association (CPMIA). Of this, exports were valued at just short of RMB6 billion ($885 million).
CPMIA also reports that sales of plastics machinery excluding spares and ancilliaries in China were valued at RMB47.9 billion ($7.07 billion) in 2010, with the imported/local machinery split pegged at 28.1%/71.9%. "As recently as 2008, machine imports accounted for 51.5% of the market but their share declined to 29.5% in 2009," says Helmar Franz, executive director and CSO of China's largest machine builder Haitian (Ningbo). Franz was speaking at a press event at the recent Chinaplas show in Guangzhou. "We initially thought imports declined in 2009 due to the global economic crisis but the trend contined in 2010, hinting of a more permanent trend." The CPMIA expects the ratio to hit 80:20 in 2015.
A declining import share does not necessarily translate to less exports to China by foreign machinery builders according to Franz. "Imports actually grew from US$1.261 billion in 2009 to US$2.007 billion," he notes. However, there is still some way to go before they reach pre-crisis levels of RMB17.951 bn ($2.58 billion) in 2008....