China Paper / China Forest and Since 2001: two shows for one of the most enticing markets in the world

In September, the world of tissue and nonwovens moved to China for two important events.

To Beijing from September 25 to 27 for the 9th edition of China Paper/China Forest and to Shanghai from September 26 to 28 for the 2nd edition of Since, a show dedicated to the nonwovens industry. We participated at both shows and discovered that the Chinese market is lively and ready to establish itself in the worldwide industry scenario in all its potential.

Cristina Bernardini

Our trip began in Beijing in the halls of the China International Exhibition Center where E.J. Krause Assoc. Inc., in collaboration with TAPPI (Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industries), organized the ninth edition of the trade show and conference China Paper - China Forest, together with the second edition of CorrTech Asia 2001, a show dedicated to the corrugated industry. At the Perini - Casmatic booth we met Dr. Cao Zhenlei and Mrs. Jiang Man Xia, respectively President and Secretary General of the China National Household Paper Industry Association.

Founded in 1993 to promote the development of paper for domestic use in China, this association constitutes the liaison between companies and government authorities and is the privileged interlocutor for those who intend to approach the Chinese market. According to the information supplied in the interview, today there are 700 registered tissue production facilities in China, with an overall production capacity of almost 3.5 million tons. The tons actually produced have been about 2.5 million, almost all destined for national consumption. Presently, average per capita consumption is 1.8-1.9 kilograms, against the 0.88 kg registered in 1996, with an average growth rate of 10% per year, a percentage that amply justifies the optimism with which we can look at the Chinese market. To the great comfort of international operators and analysts, it is also worth mentioning that the positive trend of the gross national product, increasing at a +7% rate annually, is in clear counter-trend to the slowdown registered in the economic systems of the more industrialized countries.

The entrance of the People's Republic in the World Trade Organization opens new macro-economic prospects. For what concerns the paper industry, the WTO can have a double impact: if on the one hand it will facilitate foreign investments, on the other it will oblige Chinese industries to confront themselves against a more competitive and technologically more advanced market with respect to the national one. To bridge the technological gap and bring the Chinese industry up to the standards of the more advanced countries, the government passed a policy of low-interest financings for those companies who intend to invest in new technologies.

The effects of this initiative are obvious. At the China Paper show booth, Perini and Casmatic finalized a supply contract for two complete tissue converting and packaging lines with the Guangxi Guitang Co. Ltd. Group. The new tissue converting facility - 2 Sincro model 5.5 lines of 2.7-m width with a CWM 42EV wrapper, will convert the tons of tissue produced by two new paper machines ordered from Andritz for a production estimated at 30,000 tons per year. The first of the two PMs, a 2.7-m wide crescent former, is expected to start up within 2002, while the second machine should start production in 2003.


At the Intex Exhibition Center in Shanghai, the second edition of the Since trade show was held from 26 to 28 September, organized by Miller Freeman together with CNTA (China Nonwovens Technical Association). Diatec s.r.l. of Pescara, Italy, a member of the Körber group, participated at this event. The company is dedicated to the production of machinery for baby diaper, feminine pads and incontinence products converting. In this industrial field, too, the Chinese market offers ample growth possibilities sustained by an incredible demographic growth. According to the data supplied also in this case by the China National Household Paper lndustry Association, today in China, 750 million baby diapers are consumed per year.

Installed production capacity in the 24 facilities dedicated to this type of product is about 1.7 billion pieces per year, more than twice exceeding attested consumption. But if we look at the population growth trend, we can see that the potential market is enormous. Presently, the birth rate in this country is 15.2‰, that is, in a population of over 1.3 billion people, almost 20 million babies are born each year. But the baby diaper market penetration rate is still less than 2%. In the next 10 years, a decrease in the birth rate by 4 percentage points is expected, balanced however by a consistent increase, +8%, in the market penetration rate.

This translates into a substantial growth in consumption which, according to forecasts, in 2010 should reach 3.5 billion pieces.

The feminine pads segment is at a more mature market phase: national consumption is around 29.5 billion pieces per year, of which 66% is comprised of the old, non-anatomical type and 34% of the new type with wings, perfectly in-line with western quality standards. Together with the traditional feminine pad, we find the panty shield of which 4 billion pieces were sold between 1999 and 2000. This type of product has found great success with women living in the large Chinese cities, whose style of life reflects that of their western counterparts. Today, women between 15 and 49 years of age are 34.6 million in China, and by 2010 this number will rise to 36.5 million and, according to forecasts, they will use 42.5 billion traditional pads and 5 billion panty shields.

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