Japanese machine tool exports fell for the first time in 21 Months: the reason is that China is more illuminating the Chinese machine tools

It is regarded as the leading indicator of the Japanese economy. Japanese machine tool orders are welcoming a turning point. The reason is actually China. Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported that the August Machine Tool Order Data (Express Report) released by the Japan Machine Tool Industry Association on September 11 showed that external demand (exports) fell by 4.4% year-on-year, with a year-on-year decline in 21 months. The main reason for the year-on-year decrease in Japanese machine linen was reported to be a reduction in Chinese orders.

Chinese orders accounted for about 30% of the overall external demand for Japanese machine tools. Previously, Chinese orders maintained a high growth rate, sometimes even several times the previous year. In addition to the special needs of electronic product foundry services (EMS) such as smartphones, equipment investment in the context of China’s labor shortage and the “Made in China 2025” program has also become a trend. However, due to the disappearance of special demand for smartphones, China’s order volume decreased for the fifth consecutive month in July. Japanese precision machine tool makers in Tianjin have seen fewer orders from China in August. The company said that the Chinese market has slightly adjusted. The strong momentum that lasts more than a year and a half may gradually cool down. The most important factor in the reduction of Chinese orders is due to the uncertainty of the global economy.

In other words, the reduction in the export of Japanese machine tools is not caused by the increase in the export of Chinese machine tools, but because the environment is not good, orders are less. This is the real flaw in China’s manufacturing – the machine tool is the “working machine” of the equipment manufacturing industry, and China’s high-end machine tools are seriously lacking. It can be proved that in 2017, China’s economy exceeded expectations and achieved a high growth rate of 6.9%.

At the same time, Japanese machine tool orders also set a record high of 1.64 trillion yen, of which only China’s demand accounted for 1.01 trillion yen, a surge of 41.2%. In fact, China has been the world’s largest importer and consumer of machine tools for a long time. However, as the machine tool industry has an important “anchor” status in the entire industrialization process, China has been working hard on the localization of machine tools: in 2003, China’s machine tool production ranked fifth in the world, and in 2006 it rose to third place. By 2011, it surpassed Japan to become the world’s largest machine tool producer: the current year’s output value was 27.7 billion US dollars, and the second place Japan was only 18.4 billion US dollars. By 2016, the total output value of China’s machine tool industry was 22.9 billion US dollars, while the output was down 1.1% year-on-year. In contrast, Japan’s machine tool industry, although not satisfactory in 2016, but the machine tool industry in the financial crisis, the overall output value has remained relatively stable.

From the perspective of the domestic CNC machine tool market, benefiting from the rapid development of China’s automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding, power equipment, engineering machinery and other industries, the machine tool market, especially CNC machine tools, has generated huge demand, and the CNC machine tool industry has grown rapidly. According to statistics, in 2014-2016, China’s CNC machine tool sales revenue exceeded 240 billion yuan; in 2016, China’s CNC machine tool sales were 2732 million yuan, an increase of 7.69%. In 2017, sales were approximately 300.3 billion yuan, exceeding 300 billion yuan for the first time. However, due to the late start of China’s high-end CNC machine tools, the current domestic production capacity can not meet domestic demand, most domestic high-end CNC machine tools rely on imports. In 2016, the high-end CNC system supported by CNC machine tools has been sold more than 1,000 sets. The domestic market share has increased from less than 1% before the special start to about 5%. In 2017, the localization rate of China’s high-end CNC machine tools was about 6 % or so, still small.

However, in terms of demand, the demand for high-end CNC machine tools in China has reached about 10% in 2013, and it is between 15-20% in 2017, which is quite different from the localization rate of 6%. The problem is that the world’s most advanced and most accurate machine tools can’t be bought, and all major machine tool manufacturing countries have various export bans on cutting-edge machines, and Japan is no exception. However, Japan’s machine tool industry policy toward China is not only as simple as placing advanced machine tools on the embargo list. It is always paying attention to the latest developments in China’s machine tool industry. Once China’s machine tool production in a certain field has made a breakthrough, Japan will immediately lift it. The “embargo” of this grade of machine tools has exported a large amount of Japanese goods to the Chinese market, which is slightly more cost-effective than domestically produced models, and has seized the Chinese market, thus preventing the entire industry from entering a cycle of self-development. The reality is clear that the answer is presented to everyone’s eyes. Emphasis on innovation can not stay in the mouth, thousands of enterprises, should dare to invest in research and development funds. Local governments and departments at all levels should come up with corresponding incentives and penalties to stimulate innovation in society. In particular, local governments should include incentives for innovation in their highly valued GDP assessments to maximize the localization of high-end machine tools.


Post time: Sep-21-2018
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