2013 Nonwovens Sales: $162 million
Guangzhou, Weifang, Shandong, China
Spunbond, meltblown, SMS
Hygiene, medical, industrial
In fiscal 2013, Jofo Nonwovens sold more than RMB1biliion ($161.6 million) of nonwoven roll goods worldwide, with most of its revenues coming from plants located in Zhaoqing, Guangdong; Weifang; and Dongying, Shandong in China.
Three existing production lines—one meltblown and two SMS—in Jofo’s Weifang plant generated about RMB380million ($62mn) sales in 2013. Roughly 60-70% of these hygiene and personal care products based material went to overseas markets. The company says that when 100% of its capacity is reached in 2015, the single plant is expected to contribute RMB500-600million per year in sales for Jofo Group.
The Dongying plant boasts to have the most diversified nonwovens product portfolio including spunbond, meltblown and SMS composite nonwovens capability in the Jofo Group and the materials are widely used in industrial, medical and protective applications, as well as filtration, agriculture, packaging and construction sectors.
One of its six existing spunbond lines were imported from STP, Italy, while the company reports the other five were sourced locally. The plant also operates five melt-blown lines with variable capacities, i.e., one is close to 10,000 tons per year, while the smaller one that was put into operation recently could yield about 600-1,000 tons per year.
In addition, five production lines are installed in the Jofo’s Zhaoqing, Guangdong plant, while another is under installation in a Jiangxi facility. These two plants are focused on high-tech geotextiles applications and the household nonwovens market, with capacity above 20,000 tons per year.
While discussing the current market environment the company says that 2013 and the next three to five years will be a little tough for the industry as a whole. While there are uncertainties in the macro-economies, several big production lines with capacities of between 15,000-20,000 tons per year each, which were invested three to four years ago, are coming into operation in 2014, including PGI in Jiujiang, Jiangxi; Toray in Nantong, Jiangsu; and Mitsui Chemicals in Tianjin. Jofo says the market needs time to digest all these newly added capacities, which surely will drive competition into even more fierce conditions.
Nevertheless, Jofo is optimistic to keep its growing pace at about 25-30% with focused strategy on innovation, product upgrading and cost-efficiency optimization. As one of the leading nonwovens manufacturers in China, Jofo owns strong R&D capabilities. The company boasts that most of its locally made production lines are incorporated elements from the company itself, based on its understanding of equipment, processes optimization and product development, which features additional competitiveness on cost-efficiency and flexibility.
Currently, R&D investment accounts for about 5% of its revenues, with multiple projects underway in-house and with close cooperation with institutions. The company will introduce more high value-added, special functional nonwovens that suit different market needs in the future, including biomedical products for the aging population and high-tech geotextiles, among others.
Jofo also says it expects a better regulatory and legal operating environment to encourage innovation and IP protection moving forward in the years ahead.