Survey finds Chinese plastics industry optimistic about 2021
After experiencing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, what are the expectations of the Chinese plastics industry on the development in 2021? An industry survey conducted by Adsale Plastics Network (AdsaleCPRJ.com) has received valid feedback from 1,340 respondents.
The “Plastics Industry Outlook 2021” was conducted from January 4 to February 4, 2021. It was found out that over 90% of the respondents are optimistic about the development of both the Chinese and the global plastics industry in 2021, of them 49.18% are “fairly optimistic” and 44.63% are “optimistic”. Only 4.1% of the respondents said they are “not optimistic”.
More opportunities in the European and US markets
Respondents expected to face challenges such as increasing freight rates, international trade barriers or new regulations, price fluctuations of some raw materials, and supply chain disruption due to the pandemic.
In response to these challenges, enterprises will make various adjustments to maintain business growth in 2021. The major measures adopted include: increase the use of automation (47.91%); increase domestic sales (45.9%); enhance online digital marketing (41.57%); and adjust strategies for overseas markets (39.63%).
Regarding overseas plastic markets, more respondents believed that Europe and the US will have more business opportunities in 2021, followed by South America, Vietnam, India, and Turkey, Thailand and Africa.
Medical and sustainable packaging expected to grow
In terms of application sectors, 50.67% of the respondents thought that medical and healthcare related sectors will have more growth potential in 2021. Meanwhile, 50.22% anticipated FMCG packaging and sustainable development to grow fast.
Smart home appliances, consumer electronics, automotive design and safety, and plastics circular economy related sectors were also considered to have good growth potential.
▲Half of the respondents thought that sectors related to medical and sustainable packaging will have higher growth potential.
Vast majority reported satisfactory performance
Despite the impact of the pandemic, 73.58% of the respondents reported that their companies recorded a year-on-year (YOY) increase in turnover last year. Among these companies, 36.49% recorded an increase of 10-20% and 16.94% had an increase of more than 20%. Only about 15% of respondents said their companies had a decline in turnover.
When asked to identify the most influential factors on their companies’ development last year, 54.7% and 48.95% of the respondents said negative impacts and increasing demand due to the pandemic respectively affected their companies most.
Besides, 34.1% of the respondents observed that there were increasing demands for automation and smart manufacturing.
Over 80% of respondents forecast turnover increase
While most of the respondents expressed optimism about the prospects of the plastic industry in 2021, 83.05% of the respondents forecast that their companies’ turnover for 2021 will increase compared with last year, among them 42.46% expected a 10% - 20% increase and 18.43% anticipated an increase of more than 20%.
Most of the 1,340 respondents come from the downstream sectors: automotive (26.27%), daily chemical/food (23.28%), consumer electronics/home appliances (18.43%), packaging (15.82%), medical/medical devices (15.67%), and new infrastructure (4.85%).
Meanwhile, the respondents in the upstream sectors come from plastic processing machinery and equipment and chemical & raw materials.
In terms of company scale, 18.06% of the respondents come from companies with more than 500 employees, 9.85% come from companies with 300-500 employees, and 28.66% from companies with 100-300 employees.
In addition, 35.45% of the respondents stated that their companies’ sales are domestic-oriented, 18.06% noted that their companies’ products are all for domestic sales in China, 19.85% said their domestic and export sales are equivalent.
While 12.46% of the respondents said their companies’ sales are export-oriented, 14.18% stated that their companies’ products are all for export sales.
Comments from industry experts
China has been one of the first countries to recover from the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently stated that China will play a key role in accelerating the global economic recovery.
The World Bank also pointed out that China may become the only major economy to avoid economic downturn with its GDP growth expected to reach 7.9% in 2021. Meanwhile, driven by China, the emerging market economies are expected to grow by 5% this year, higher than the previously forecast of 4.6%.
In his opinion, Yan Jianlai, Deputy Secretary-General of China Society of Automotive Engineers predicted that regardless of the fluctuations brought by the pandemic, the automotive market is expected to grow slightly in 2021.
The market competition of new energy vehicles will be greater and the market concentration will be further increased, he said. As a result, automotive enterprises with higher branding and innovation capabilities will achieve better business development, and a number of medium-sized enterprises will be forced out of the market.
Wu Hongjun, Deputy Secretary-General, China Packaging Federation, agreed that the industry integration in 2021 will be larger in scale. Leading companies will become increasingly competitive.
He remarked that the policy guidelines for circular economy introduced by the Chinese government in February 2021 has proposed to build a sustainable supply chain. Therefore, the application of sustainable packaging will become more important to enterprises as the government is paying more attention to circular economy.
According to Peng Xiandong, General Manager of Large Electronics Group at China Market Monitor Co., Ltd., a consumer survey was conducted by the company and has shown that Chinese consumers are generally optimistic about the market of 2021.
He commented that the market and sales of small home appliances are projected to keep growing in 2021. The market of other large white appliances is forecast to rebound this year, with turnover growing steadily in the next three years.
edit : HANDLER