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International News From the Field: China

The headwinds and opportunities in China are constantly shifting. While its PMI is concerning, the construction and internal combustion engine sectors, as well as robot production, show resilience. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
Jun 25, 2024

In May, China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) was 49.5, showing a slight decrease of 1.79% compared to April, but maintaining a year-to-year increase of 1.43%. According to Chinese customs data, the total import and export of machine tools from January to April amounted to over $10 billion, reflecting a 2.8% decrease compared to the previous year. Within this total, imports reached $3.35 billion, prolonging their status as the world’s leader of importing machine tools.

The China Construction Machinery Association (CCMA) reported that major excavator manufacturers sold 18,822 units in April 2024. Of these, 10,782 units were sold domestically, indicating a 13.3% year-over-year increase, while exports totaled 8,040 units, decreasing from the previous year by 13.2%. As of April, 68,786 excavators were sold. Within this, 37,228 units were sold domestically, while exports amounted to 31,558 units, showing a 16.7% year-over-year decrease.

Meanwhile, according to the statistical analysis of the China Internal Combustion Engine Industry Association (CICEIA), orders for internal combustion engines totaled nearly 4 million units in April 2024, a decrease of 7.75% compared to March, but an increase of 9.39% compared to the previous year. From January to April, the cumulative orders for the internal combustion engine industry reached 14.9 million units, reflecting a 6.19% increase compared to the previous year. This is a strong sign for the ever-growing automotive and auto parts industry.

Finally, according to industrial media statistics from Beijing Yubozhiye Investment Consulting Co., China produced 50,380 robots in April 2024, marking a 25.9% year-over-year increase. From January to April 2024, the country's total industrial robot output reached 170,784 units, reflecting a cumulative increase of 9.9%. The significant increase in robot production output comes as a result of the increased global demand for automated machinery.

A few recently announced projects and investment news items are listed below:

  • Langfang Ground Sun Petroleum Equipment Manufacturing will invest $41.6 million to build production facilities and purchase approximately 449 sets of equipment, including material handling, welding, metal-cutting, heat-treatment, measuring and inspection, and logistics, as well as 12 kits of ancillary systems.

  • Shandong Shengji Glass will invest $150 million in production facilities to reach its targeted annual output of 400,000 kits of automotive glass.

  • SAIC-GM Dongyue plans to invest $322 million to produce NDLB battery vehicles and a variation model, with an annual output of 80,000 units in Yantai city.

  • Jiangxi Youguan Science & Technology will invest $68 million to manufacture high-quality data cables and connectors for consumer electronics.

  • MIND Automotive Components will invest $137 million to purchase a surface mount technology (SMT) production line, turning centers, assembly line, cleaning equipment, and machining centers for automotive component production in Jiangsu.

  • Dalian Machine Tool Group Co. plans to invest $110 million to upgrade the manufacturing conditions for core components of CNC machine tools.

  • Chenhang New Energy Science & Technology (Tongcheng) will invest $47.95 million to build an extrusion mold production line and finishing processes line for the production of lightweight parts for EVs in Anhui.

  • Dongfeng Motor Corp. will invest $68 million to build giga-casting capacity in two phases. In the first phase, two production lines will be built (10,000 tons and 12,000 tons) with an aim to achieve an annual capacity production of 200,000 pieces.

For more information, please contact Fred Qian at fredqian@AMTchina.org

Fred Qian
General Manager - Shanghai Technology and Service Center of AMT
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