This study analyzes the flat glass industry in China. It presents historical demand data for the years 2001, 2006 and 2011, and forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by flat glass type (e.g., float glass, sheet glass, safety glass, insulating glass, mirrors), market (e.g., architectural, motor vehicle, electronic display) and geographic region.The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles industry participants.
Demand to grow more than 8% annually through 2016
Demand for flat glass in China is forecast to rise 8.2 percent per year through 2016 to 3.4 billion square meters. Sales of flat glass will be driven by growth in building construction expenditures and advances in motor vehicle and solar panel production. In value terms, flat glass demand is forecast to increase 13.9 percent per year to ¥250 billion in 2016. Ongoing industrialization, rising income levels, and further population and household growth will benefit flat glass sales.
Demand shifting to higher quality products
Two major trends are expected to affect the flat glass industry over the next 10 years. First, demand for float glass is forecast to increase at the expense of demand for lower quality sheet glass. Second, demand for fabricated flat glass products is forecast to continue to rise as they are more often favored over unfabricated products in building applications and as rapid growth is expected in fabricated glass markets such as solar energy and electronic displays. By 2021, fabricated flat glass will record nearly half of total flat glass demand in China.
Fabricated glass products to grow most rapidly
Unfabricated float glass will remain the largest product category through 2016, with demand rising 6.6 percent yearly to 1.5 billion square meters. Advances will be spurred by healthy growth in building construction activity, especially in rural areas, and relatively low product prices.
Demand for safety glass will advance nearly 15 percent annually through 2016, as demand benefits from rising income levels and growth in new construction, as well as from greater output of motor vehicles, solar panels, and furniture. Demand for insulating glass is forecast to grow 15.5 percent annually through 2016, boosted by growth in construction of residential and commercial buildings, schools, and hospitals, which use vast amounts of flat glass in their designs.
Architectural market still dominant for flat glass
The architectural market accounted for just under four-fifths of flat glass demand in 2011. Advances for flat glass in the architectural market will be bolstered by rising income levels, further urbanization, and government efforts to improve living conditions for low-income earners. The solar panel market is forecast to see the fastest gains through 2016. Sales will be driven by strong increases in production of solar panels. The electronic display market will see the next fastest growth, with demand being lifted by expanding output of electronic goods in China, the presence of new glass-using products, and heightened personal income levels.
This study analyzes the Chinese flat glass industry by product type and market. Flat glass demand is presented at two levels. This study examines the industry at both the primary flat glass level (float and sheet) and the fabricated flat glass level (safety, insulating, mirrors, photovoltaic, conductive, and other). Primary flat glass that is used directly by end users without further alteration is referred to as “unfabricated primary flat glass,” while primary glass that is ultimately used as an input to make other flat glass types is referred to as “fabricated primary flat glass.” Markets include architectural, motor vehicles, solar energy, furniture, electronic displays, and other. Product capacity figures are presented in metric tons and product capacity expansion data included in this study are based on announcements as of October 2012. Excluded from the scope of the study are raw materials used in the production of flat glass (e.g., lime, limestone, silica sand, and soda ash).
The Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are exclude from the scope of the study. These regions remain to a great extent economically independent from the rest of China, even though they returned to the People’s Republic of China in the late 1990s. Taiwan, which is economically independent from the rest of China and not under the administration of the central government, is also excluded from the scope of this study.
Historical data (2001, 2006, and 2011) and forecasts for 2016 and 2021 are provided in million square meters for sales, shipments, and net exports of flat glass products, as well as for all major segments. The renminbi (or RMB) is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China, and the base unit of the renminbi is the yuan. The term “yuan” is used throughout this report when referring to currency amounts. Historical data and forecasts for sales of detailed product classifications are also in current yuan. The term “demand” actually refers to “apparent consumption” and is defined as production (also referred to as “output” or “supply”) from Chinese flat glass production facilities plus imports minus exports. It is used interchangeably with the terms “market,” “sales,” and “consumption. At the primary flat glass level, demand is defined as the amount of primary flat glass used in the production of each type of fabricated flat glass product and the amount of primary flat glass used in an unfabricated state in each major market.
In addition, major suppliers of flat glass products are identified and profiled, and the key competitive variables for this industry are discussed. The entire report is framed within the Chinese flat glass industry’s economic and market environments. Flat glass revenues by company data presented in the “Industry Structure” section are estimates based on consultation with multiple sources. Tabular details may not add to totals due to rounding. Macroeconomic indicators presented in this study were obtained from The Freedonia Group Consensus Forecasts dated June 2012.
A wide variety of primary and secondary sources were also used in the compilation of this report. These include Chinese government statistical agencies (principally the National Bureau of Statistics of China), other Chinese government agencies (including the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Construction), the China Architectural and Industrial Glass Association, industry experts, financial sources, and flat glass companies.
Data and background information were obtained from various news and trade publications, including China Building Materials Monthly, China Building Materials Science & Technology, China Daily, China Security Journal, People’s Daily, and The China Business Review. Corporate annual reports, product literature, and other company information were also used in framing the industry and market environments and as input for market size assessments.
Statistics from various sources were carefully examined during the preparation of this study, and contradictions and discrepancies among data sources were noted. The accuracy and reliability of figures from each source were evaluated, and adjustments were made where deemed necessary. This was done in order to arrive at a consistent set of industry statistics, which are based on the best available information at the time this study was published. As a result, the data presented here may differ, sometimes substantially, from figures issued by official governmental sources.