Shenzhen, China -- Exhibitors at the recent PU China 2010 show in Shenzhen were in an extremely upbeat mood, based on the current high growth rates they are seeing for their products in China, accompanied by definite signs of recovery in North America.
"We are seeing excellent demand in Asia Pacific," for polyurethanes, said Peter Vanacker, head of the global polyurethanes business at Bayer MaterialScience. Discussing such optimism -- after a year or two in the doldrums for most of the PU sector -- Vanacker also noted that while some recovery is evident in Europe, it is patchy, both regionally and by end-use sector.
In China, recovery was rapid and strong, despite the fact that the region was the first to suffer a demand slump, added Vanacker's colleague Azita Owlia, senior vice president and head of PU marketing for Bayer MaterialScience in Asia Pacific.
Many of those interviewed praised the Chinese government's rapid measures to stimulate the economy and are convinced these played a major role in China's quick return to growth, as demand for refrigerators and vehicles, for example, gained from packages aimed at encouraging their purchase.
Now isocyanates, polyols and systems supplier BMS is seeing 20-percent demand growth in China from quarter to quarter (Q4 2009 to Q1 2010), Owlia said, in an exclusive 25 May interview with Urethanes Technology International just before the start of the PU China exhibition.
China's major domestic producer of PU raw materials, Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes Co. Ltd has also been seeing demand for its products grow at 20 percent, commented chairman Jiansheng Ding, discussing Yantai's plans with UTI on the opening day of the show.
Asked is this high growth sustainable, Ding indicated that he feels it is, "assuming the global economy does not go through a double dip." One reason the Yantai chief feels so positive about the future is that the Chinese government is "pushing very hard" on "new initiatives for a low carbon economy." This will need much increased use of insulation and Ding is "very optimistic" about the role of polyurethane-based insulation in cutting energy use in buildings and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
* See more reporting and interviews from the show in the June/July issue of Urethanes Technology International.
PIC: Buoyant about prospects for PU -- Owlia and Vanacker.