As the core material of the optical fiber and cable industrial chain upstream, optical fiber preform contributes about 70% of the whole industrial chain profits.
In 2013, the global optical fiber preform production reached 10,449 tons, up 18.2% year on year, meeting demand of 10,128 tons, up 16.6% year on year.
As the top three optical fiber preform producers and demanders in the world, China, Japan and the United States combined for 84.1% and 83.3% of the global production and demand, of which, China topped the list, boasting separate proportions of 32.9% and 59.8%.
Pulled by the broadband demand from 4G, FTTx and LTE, the Chinese optical fiber preform market demand is growing rapidly, which then brings ever-increasing import volume. In 2013, the Chinese optical fiber preform imports rose 20.2% year on year to 2,748.1 tons, making up 45.4% of the country’s demand.
The United States and Japan are major importers of Chinese optical fiber preform, altogether taking 91.3% of China’s total imports in 2013. To avoid import price dumping and improve profit margins of domestic products, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China has conducted an anti-dumping investigation on imported optical fiber preform native to Japan and the United States since March 2014.
Moreover, China’s growing market demand for optical fiber preform has also attracted a large number of domestic and foreign enterprises. So far, foreign companies e.g. Shin-Etsu Chemical, Sumitomo Electric Industries and Fujikura have entered the Chinese optical fiber preform market; on the other hand, domestic counterparts such as Hengtong Optic-electric Co., Ltd. and Jiangsu Zhongtian Technology Co., Ltd. are also increasing their capacity of optical fiber preform via upgrading and reconstruction or new projects, for the purpose of sharpening the competitive edge.
As the second largest optical fiber preform manufacturing enterprise in China, Hengtong Optic-electric Co., Ltd. has been provided with the 650 tons/a optical fiber preform production capacity. Its 610 tons/a Optical Fiber Preform Project newly constructed in August 2013 is expected to be completed and put into production in 2015.
Jiangsu Zhongtian Technology Co., Ltd is one of the domestic manufacturers that have a complete industrial chain e.g. optical wand – optical fiber – optical cable. In recent years, it has continuously extended the capacity of optical fiber preform, with 400 tons/a formed upon the completion of the Optical Fiber Preform Project Phase I, II and III in 2011-2013. In 2014, the company initiated the Optical Fiber Preform Technology Upgrade Project, and will see total capacity up to 600 tons/a upon the year-end commissioning.
In addition, Jiangsu Tongding Optic-Electronic Stock Co., Ltd, Zhongli Sci-Tech Group Co.,Ltd, Tianjin Xinmao Science&Technology Co.,Ltd and other mainstream optical fiber manufacturers have also successively marched the optical fiber preform industry. Among them, the first two companies will put their optical fiber preform projects into production by the end of 2014; the 300 tons/a Single-mode Preform Project planned by Tianjin Xinmao Science&Technology has been approved by the EIA General Counsel and is now being built.