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Biaxial polyamide film in China expected to grow by 12-15%

Polyamide, commonly known as Nylon, can provide excellent barrier properties, leading to good growth of biaxial oriented film made from polyamide, particularly in China. One estimate for the next few years, puts the average growth at 12-15% for China, about 2% in Japan and 2-3% for the rest of the Asian countries. BOPA film is therefore growing at about 5-6% in Asia. BOPA film (Biaxial polyamide) in Asia is estimated to have had a consumption of about 107,000 tons in 2006. Japan accounted for 45,000 tons and China accounted 27,000 tons, while the rest of Asia at about 35,000 tons.

Globally, the present capacity of BOPA film is in excess of demand, with an average utilization rate of just around 40% globally. One estimate puts the global capacity at about 175,000 tpa in 2006. China alone accounted for 65,000-70,000 tons capacity in 2006. Foshan Plastics, with 12,000 tons capacity is one of the largest processors in China and possibly among the large producers in the World.
China demands almost 60% of the total plastic films globally (excluding PE film). BOPET, with 20% market share comes second. BOPP film, the most widely used biaxial film worldwide, accounts for only 15% market share in China. China is therefore tuned to BOPA film.

Bruckner, DMT & Mistubishi are three major equipment suppliers of BOPA film. There are essentially three different processes that are used in manufacture of BOPA film
A stenter sequential stretching with more than 90-95,000 tons (54%) capacity is the largest.
The simultaneous stretching in stenter process with 50,000 tons (28%) is the second largest process.
Blown film process accounts for 30,000 tons (17%) and thus is the smallest process used globally for manufacture of BOPA film.

BOPA film finds usage mainly in food packaging. Almost 85% of the present BOPA film is used in food packaging. Retort food is the major market and accounts for 35% of the global consumption. Pickles and chilled food products almost account for 20% each. Other food packaging accounts for about 10% consumption. Soap powder packaging is one of the important applications of non food and accounts for about 10-12%.


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