Machine Tool Demand in China to Grow Over 9% Annually

Demand for machine tools in China is forecast to increase 9.2 percent per annum to 600 billion yuan in 2017. Gains will be stimulated by healthy growth in the industrial machinery and transportation equipment industries. A continuing shift in the product mix toward higher-value product types such as machining centers, CNC machine tools, and multitasking machine tools will help drive market gains in value terms. Analyst Linda Li notes that, “increasing regulations regarding energy conservation will lead to growth in demand for energy-efficient machine tools.” These and other trends are presented in Machine Tools in China, a new study from the Beijing office of The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

China will continue to see its trade deficit in machine tools expand for the foreseeable future. Imports are expected to reach 184 billion yuan in 2017. Foreign suppliers will continue to benefit from growing demand for the precise and sophisticated machine tools needed to manufacture advanced machines. In addition, decreases in tariffs on imported machine tools will also drive sales of imported products through 2017.

Metal cutting machine tools will continue to be the largest product segment in 2017, benefiting from their relatively wider range of applications in durable goods production and a comparatively greater variety of metal cutting product types. In addition, growing demand for highly-advanced and comprehensive metal cutting machines -- especially for machining centers and multitasking machines -- will further boost product sales. Demand for metal forming equipment is forecast to advance 9.7 percent per annum through 2017, benefiting from strong growth anticipated in the motor vehicle, shipbuilding, aerospace, and power transmission and distribution industries.

The industrial machinery and transportation equipment markets have the largest impact on overall machine tool sales, as they accounted for over 60 percent of all demand in 2012. Gains in these two markets are forecast to be near the market average through 2017. Sustained plans to expand durable goods production, facility renovations, and new product innovation in all markets will continue to stimulate growth. Machine tool demand in the electrical and electronics market is also expected to expand near the average rate through 2017, benefiting from strong increases in fixed investment in the home appliance and power generating equipment industries. Machine tool demand in the primary and fabricated metal market will be spurred by continued expenditures in construction projects.

Machine Tools in China (published 12/2013, 253 pages) is available from The Freedonia Group, Inc. For further details, visit

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