28 November 2012 13:52 [Source: ICIS news]
By Ting Huang
GUANGZHOU (ICIS)--Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) is confident in China, especially for the coating industry, although sales growth there slowed down in the first nine months of 2012 compared with other regions such as the US, company executives said on Wednesday.
BMS is “cautiously optimistic” about the future development of the Chinese coating market, said Daniel Meyer, head of BMS coatings, adhesives, specialities business unit and functional leadership.
“We would see 2012 as a year of reset in China,” Meyer said on the sidelines of the ChinaCoat 2012 exhibition.
Concerns remain around the short-term outcome in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 2013 amid a variety of uncertainties such as the economic environment, Meyer said.
However, the company is confident in the long-term output in China, underpinned by the country’s planning on boosting domestic consumption, he added.
This also explained BMS’s significant investment in assets, people and technical competence in China, said Samir Hifri, senior vice president at the global polymer producer.
BMS is expected to bring on stream the third phase of its Polymer Research and Development Centre (PRDC) project in the Shanghai municipality in early 2013, Hifri said.
The innovation hub is particularly important in terms of the proximity to China-based customers, according to Hifri.
“We can now take into consideration the level of customer affordability in the local market when providing tailor-made solutions in China,” Xiaobin Zhong, vice president of coatings, adhesives & specialities, greater China, said when he was answering questions on the cost-efficiency of BMS products.
The growth in coatings business was reduced in January-September 2012 in China as a result of declining demand from the construction industry.
“Speculative demand doesn't necessarily support coating consumption in the Chinese real estate market,” Mr Hifri said.
“People just buy and sell properties without interior decoration, renovation or even buying furniture,” he added.
Sales in BMS from North America rose by 17.1% year on year to €1.86bn in the first three quarters of 2012, the company’s quarterly results showed.
The ChinaCoat exhibition is being held on 28-30 November.
($1 = €0.77)
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