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China: flat glass over-production set to continue

9 April 1998: The Chinese market for flat glass will still be a buyer“s market with the supply and demand remaining at last year“s level, according to a projection by the National Light Industry Cou…

9 April 1998: The Chinese market for flat glass will still be a buyer“s market with the supply and demand remaining at last year“s level, according to a projection by the National Light Industry Council. The council reportedly said that China“s production of flat glass will be 168 million standard-weight cases. With the additional 12 million cases of flat glass in stock, the projection said, market supply will far exceed the demand of 155 million cases. The annual flat glass export total in 1996 and 1997 was 37 million square metres. Because of the Asian financial turmoil, this year“s export is expected to have very little impact on lowering the supply-demand difference. Analysts say the real production increase is inconsistent with proper, optimal growth of the flat glass industry. Reports say that in recent years, the construction of production lines with float glass technology increased the production capacity of flat glass in 1996 to what was planned for 2000. In 1995, 12 such lines became operational, which resulted in a production increase of 26 million cases. Ten lines started operation in 1996 and 1997, turning out 23 million and 20 million cases respectively. Six or seven production lines are expected to be completed this year, according to the council, and their combined production capacity will be 15 million cases.

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