Location: SEOUL, KOREA
Sales: $144 Million
Description: Plant Locations
Gumi, Kyungsang-Bukdo, South Korea; Nantong, JIangsu Province, China
ISO-9001: 2009; ISO-14001 (environmental certification): 2004; ISO-18001 (operational certification): 2007
Y.K. Lee, president and CEO; Y.K. Kim, senior vice president; Yasuhiko Tanabe, senior vice president; J.N. Kim, president of TPN; W.C. Hwang, director of TPN
Spunbond PP (SS, SSS, SMS, SMMS and bicomponent), PET (embossed and needlepunched)
Hygiene, medical and protective markets, industrial specialties, agricultural, upholstery, filtration, PP/PE bicomponents, geotextiles
Spunbond specialist Toray Saehan, Inc. (TSI), a joint venture company of Japan-based Toray Industries and Saehan of Korea, earned $144 million in nonwoven roll goods sales in 2008. The company achieved an impressive 20% jump in sales over 2007 based on Korean won, which it attributes to a substantial hike in selling prices in 2008 due to unstable raw material pricing as well as the benefit of exchange rate improvements.
While sales from its Toray Polytech Nantong (TPN) Chinese subsidiary represented $17 million of its roll goods total last year, TSI’s portion of the business generated $127 million in nonwovens revenue (17% of TSI’s total turnover). With approximately 75% of products targeting hygiene markets around the globe, TSI represents 5% of Toray Group’s overall sales.
In terms of the company’s geographic sales breakdown, sales to Korea totaled $55 million in 2008, Japanese market sales were $25 million, sales in China represented $17 million and other regions totaled $47 million last year. TSI exports nearly half (47%) of goods from its Seoul, Korea base versus TPN’s output, which exclusively targets local Chinese markets.
While conditions in the Asian nonwovens industry were tolerable in the second half of 2008, TSI reported that rapid declines in the third quarter impacted its business substantially. In fact, the all-time high cost of poly propylene resin decreased profits to the point that many spunbond makers (Including TSI) placed all plans for expansions and new investments on hold. This holding pattern kept TSI’s annual capacity steady at 54,000 tons while TPN’s spunbond output in China was 18,000 tons on its new Reifenhauser SXMMS 4.2 meter line, which reached full capacity levels in July. A firm decision on when TPN will add a second multi-beam production line is expected in October, but for now production is slated to begin in early 2011. According to the company, the move is part of a strategy to make the most of ongoing baby diaper market growth in China.
For the future, TSI plans to continue to promote new SMMS bicomponent (PP/PE) and copolymer-based nonwovens featuring improved softness for hygiene and specialty medical end uses. Other key goals for the company are developing additional value-added, specialty products and expanding the stabilization of TPN’s second beam.