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Machine Tool Industry in China and its Growth Trends

Date:09-12-2013

China is the largest consumer as well as producer of machine tools in the world. The machine tool market in China has grown exponentially in the last decade, largely bolstered by a large influx of foreign investment. By 2014, the demand for machine tools in China is expected to grow by 14.2%. A number of factors have contributed to the growth in the industry. Rapid development of the Chinese economy, number of government initiatives taken up to boost the industry and favorable tariff policies are some of the factors that are responsible for fueling growth in the machine tool industry in China. As machine tools are used in a number of industries such as automotive, shipbuilding, aviation and railways, there has been an increase in demand for machine tools.

Market Segmentation
In terms of volume, China accounts for 29.4% of the global output value of machine tools in the world. The machine tools market in China can be categorized into three broad segments. These are metal cutting tools, metal forming tools and special machine tools. Metal cutting tools consist of lathes, milling machine, boring and drilling machine, polishing and lapping machines, buffing, grinding and honing machines and miscellaneous cutting tools. Metal forming tools consist of metal working presses, punching machine, shearing machine, bending machine and forming machine. Laser machine, electrical discharge machine, water jet machines etc. comes under special machine tools. In China, the sale of metal cutting tools is the highest and accounts for nearly 40% of demand in the market. The fastest growing sub-segment is CNC machine tools.

Growth Trends in the Market
There are a number of machine tool manufacturers in China, both domestic and foreign-owned. At present there are around 2023 manufacturers of machine tools in the country, according to a survey by the International Mold & Plastic Hardware Industry Suppliers Association. 47.4% of total number of manufacturers of machine tools is state owned and 37.5% are private enterprises. The number of private enterprises is 758 and the number of state-owned enterprises is 959. 306 manufacturers are wholly foreign-owned or Sino-foreign joint venture enterprises.

The Chinese government has set up policies as part of its 12th Five-year plan to include the machine industry in its list of Strategic Emerging Industries (SEIs). This will benefit the machine tool industry in the country. With greater technical innovation and changes in China’s industrial structure, the machine tool industry in China is predicted to grow in the future.

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