China is an important producer of HPL in the world. The number of HPL manufacturers in China exceeds ten, mainly in Jiangsu Province, Henan Province, and Jiangxi Province. However, most of the HPL capacity is concentrated in Jiangsu.
China’s HPL industry is almost the same as other HPL industry leaders in production equipment, but it is still lacking in brand recognition and market development of high-end products. China’s HPL manufacturers have far less global visibility and influence than industry leaders Formica and Trespa, and most of the products are mainly for the low-end market. In order to open up domestic and international markets, China’s HPL manufacturers have adopted a low-price competition strategy, which requires them to reduce the cost of all aspects to gain market share, so the quality is worse than Formica and Trespa. This is an objective fact.
However, it does not mean that China’s HPL manufacturers cannot manufacture products with comparable quality to Formica and Trespa, because there is no difference in production equipment, and only a slight adjustment can be made on the production materials. Many international importers will negotiate specific product quality requirements with Chinese HPL manufacturers based on their own quality requirements, and HPL manufacturers in China will produce products that meet their needs according to customer requirements. Chinese HPL manufacturers can customize the product specifications and quality levels they need.
The current Chinese HPL manufacturers are still in a growth period, hoping to survive the competition by increasing market share, so there are still many problems in China’s HPL industry. First, an important factor in the ability of Chinese HPL manufacturers to produce low-cost HPL is that Chinese workers are hard-working. Chinese workers can work continuously for 12 hours without a break, and they are very efficient at work. The wages are very low, and the hourly wage is only $2, which has led Chinese HPL manufacturers to lead in labor costs.
Secondly, China’s HPL manufacturers have a secret that cannot be said. Some manufacturers do not fully implement the Chinese government’s environmental protection policy in terms of environmental protection. Anyone who has visited some Chinese HPL manufacturers’ workshops knows that the smell is not good. This has led to a reduction in the cost of some Chinese manufacturers on some production auxiliary equipment.
On the production of raw materials, Chinese HPL manufacturers, like foreign producers, they do everything they can to reduce costs. But the Chinese Manufacturers have more choices in China than in other countries. China has a huge supplier system, and some of China’s HPL manufacturers will choose the cheapest price. Of course, I am doubtful about the quality of the cheapest suppliers. For example, the kraft paper used in the production of HPL is kraft paper made from recycled paper or kraft paper produced from natural wood pulp, which has a certain impact on the quality of the product. Also, the phenolic resin used in the production process is 100% phenolic resin or a low-priced urea-formaldehyde resin is added through an improved process. These are all international buyers who need to be clear during negotiations with Chinese HPL manufacturers. Because different prices represent different qualities, you need to find the one that works best for you.
There is demand in the market, China’s HPL products have a huge market share in the low-end market, but how to do high-end market and international big brands in the brand influence, new product research, and development capabilities, there is still a lot of work to do.
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