By Tim Wright, Editor | January 24, 2012

CHINACOAT2011 in Shanghai mirrored China’s growing and dynamic coatings industry.

The 16th China International Exhibition for Coatings, Printing Inks and Adhesives (CHINACOAT2011) successfully closed on Nov. 25, 2011 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), Shanghai, PR China. The show once again achieved record-breaking results in many aspects, making it one of the largest and most important coatings exhibitions for the industry worldwide.

Despite uncertainty in the European economy and the show schedule clashing with the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, CHINACOAT2011 still attracted 24,865 trade visitors, with a particular increase in overseas visitors.

There were 4,163 overseas visitors accounting for 16.7 percent of total visitors, which represented an increase of 23.3 percent over last year’s exhibition. In addition 1,772 of them (42.6 percent) were pre-registered.

The onsite technical exchange programs created added value to the already hugely popular event. There were 58 sessions of activities organized right before and during the exhibition to provide an effective platform for in-depth technological exchange and discussion to the 3,248 attendees, representing an increase of 29.7 percent over last year.

As the world’s largest coatings producer and consumer, China will continue to be the focal point of the global coatings industry. For the past 16 years, CHINACOAT has stayed vibrant and delivered dynamic advancements and innovations to the world.

The coatings and ink industries have put tremendous emphasis on the Chinese market. Even during the global recession that heavily impacted most of the world, the Chinese coatings industry grew, with total output of China coatings manufacturing reaching 7.6 million tons in 2009, up 14 percent from 2008.

On the paint and coatings side, the largest international manufacturers all have built major operations in China, and as China’s market continues to grow, paint makers like AkzoNobel, the world’s largest, continue to invest more dollars in their China operations.

In October 2011, AkzoNobel announced it is investing approximately €60 million to increase the production capacity of its automotive and aerospace coatings business in China. This investment will provide additional momentum for the company’s accelerated growth strategy of achieving revenue of $3 billion in China by 2015. The story is similar at PPG, Henkel, Sherwin-Williams, DuPont and BASF.

The trends are the same on the ink side, as industry leaders such as DIC Corporation, Flint Group, Toyo Ink Group, Siegwerk and Sakata INX have all been heavily involved in the Chinese market.

“In the midst of a global financial meltdown, China now is the world’s fastest-growing economy,”  said Raymond Ho, chief executive of Hong Kong-based show organizer Sinostar International Ltd. “It is the world’s second largest producer and consumer of coatings and fourth for ink production.”

Ho added that China is now the largest producer of powder coatings in the world, and automotive and architectural coatings are the two fastest-growing market sectors.

“China is now the largest producer of powder coatings in the world, representing more than 28 percent of the estimated global market of 1,500,000 tons,” Ho said. “Recent innovation in curing technology, such as UV and NIR, are broadening market potential by opening new application areas in wood, plastics, papers, MDF, etc. We thought that this topic deserves an independent zone for the convenience of both exhibitors and visitors.”

There was plenty for attendees to learn from during CHINACOAT2011. Technology Corner was a new event, featuring informal presentations on case studies, novel technology, insights and marketing strategies related to the following themes: Nanotechnology in Surface Coatings; Advanced Technologies for Industrial Metal Industry; and Architectural Coatings: Sustainability + Performance.

As part of its diverse offerings, CHINACOAT also every year presents a look into the coatings industry in neighboring countries, and this year’s focus was on Turkey. Ahmet Yigitbasi, vice president of Bosad – The Association of the Turkish Paint Industry, and president of Yasar Coatings Group, a sub-division of Yasar Holding A.S., since 2001, presented an overview of the Turkish paint and coatings industry.

Yigitbasi  said the Turkish coatings industry, which has almost doubled in size over the last 10 years, is now valued at USD$1.8 billion. Decorative paints hold the largest share of the market at 40 percent. The share of the other coatings subsectors are spread between the metal industry at 18 percent, automotive industry at 12 percent, printing inks at 10 percent, furniture at nine percent, powder at seven percent and marine at four percent.

To provide the opportunities of training and learning for industry professionals, three Technical Workshops were held at the exhibition. Workshop I focused on Design and Optimisation of Coatings & Inks Formulations; Workshop II presented High Value-Added Functional Coatings and Inks; and Workshop III offered an overview of Emerging Technologies in Polymer and Coatings.
“Effective technology transfer will always remain the key feature of CHINACOAT,” Ho said. “Industry players, both domestic and international, showcased their latest technology to satisfy the growing need of high-quality visitors.”

CHINACOAT Continues To Impress Exhibitors

One of the great strengths of CHINACOAT is the ability to bring together the leaders of the Chinese paint, coatings and ink industries and leading raw material and equipment suppliers, and key exhibitors are pleased with the access CHINACOAT provides to influential industry leaders.
“As with previous years, we at Shamrock Technologies expected another good turnout at the show offering the opportunity to interact with customers in a short time, and to get updates on the current state of the coatings industry and the impact of new government regulations,” said Joon Choo, vice president, Shamrock Technologies.

“CHINACOAT is the largest coatings trade show in the Asia Pacific region, and is a great platform for us to showcase our latest technologies as well as share our latest technical developments via their technical seminars,” said Yoke Loon, general manager Asia Pacific, Dow Coating Materials. “We feel that the show is quite well organized and has also expanded in reach over the years with more people coming from outside of China to view the exhibits.”

“Our sales to the China market have increased year by year,” said Jiro Suezawa, director, Specialty Chemicals Division, Kyowa Hakko Chemical Co., Ltd. “At this show, we expect to form a lot of relationships with existing and potential customers. We think CHINACOAT is one of the biggest and liveliest shows in the world.”

While the Chinese coatings and ink markets are the healthiest worldwide in terms of growth, the global economy may provide some challenges.

“Recent market feedback indicates changes largely due to shortages and tightness, and consequent price increases in the raw materials sector, coupled with limited ability to increase pricing on the customers’ side,” Choo said. “The increased pressure has limited production and growth compared to prior years. We have seen cutbacks in output as well as a slowdown in sourcing due to the tighter inventory management.”

Choo noted that Shamrock is going ahead with expanding operations in its Tianjin plant.
“The export sector will likely lead the slowdown in growth given current economic issues in Europe and the U.S.,” Choo noted. “Domestic growth seems robust, but the tight labor market and inflationary pressures coupled with recent changes in the banking regulation are increasing the terms of trade, and slowing expansion especially for the smaller-sized companies. Shamrock is continuing to improve on its operations in our Tianjin plant, and increasing its product line offerings as the China coatings market continues to mature further.”

“The Chinese coatings market will still continue to grow, especially in the architectural paint market, driven by the booming real estate market and strong economic growth,” Loon said. “While we expect some slowdown due to the global economic situation, we are still optimistic about the situation in China and look forward to growth in this market.

Dow is expanding its production capacity in Greater China, adding technical service and R&D resources at the Shanghai Dow Center.

Suezawa noted that Kyowa Hakko Chemical Co., Ltd. recently established its subsidiary company Seika Trading to promote the company’s chemicals in China.

“Remarkable development has been made in China’s paint and coatings industry,” Suezawa said. “The Chinese economy has slowed down in second half of this year, but we believe this timing is good to make close connection with our customers. We don’t doubt the China market will continue to grow in the future. To promote our chemicals in the China market, we established our subsidiary company in Shanghai this year.”

The 9th CHINACOAT Conference Focused On High Performance Coatings

The annual CHINACOAT Conference has become one of the key elements of CHINACOAT. The conference focuses on an important segment of the coatings industry, and this year’s sessions, which covered “Technology for Formulating High Performance Coatings,” featured a wide variety of talks on major aspects of the field.

Coatings technology will continue to grow by replacing conventional materials and by expanding into new areas of applications and innovative products, which require the use of functional additives, engineered by a strong scientific background.

“There have been some significant increases in the use of functional additives in various sectors, especially in the field of high performance coatings in China,” said Dip Dasgupta, CHINACOAT Conference chairman, who led the conference for the ninth year. “Formulating special coatings has to be evidence-based in order to guarantee their functional integrity. This was the main reason for selecting this theme as our conference topic.

“The keynote paper from Prof. Jamil Baghdachi on stimuli responsive ‘Self-Healing Coatings’ was very interesting, and for the first time we included a full paper on fabric printing coatings,” Dasgupta said. “Until the present day, all CHINACOAT conferences have centered around the dissemination of technological innovation rather than being vehicles for commercial advancement. I sincerely hope that the delegates gained a better understanding of the background science and technology which will assist them in developing novel high quality products.”

CHINACOAT2011 Fast Facts

• Covered an exhibition area close to 55,000 square meters (an increase of 29.2 percent)
• 24,865 visitors (an increase of 4.7 percent)
• 1,005 exhibitors from 30 countries/regions (an increase of 15.7 percent)
• 248 new exhibitors (an increase of 15.9 percent)
• 3,248 attendees for 58 sessions of onsite technical exchange activities (an increase of 29.7 percent)

(Coatings World)