A new market research report from ReportLinker says that China’s demand for machine tools will increase by 13% annually through 2012. According to the report, rapid growth in the production of durable goods, particularly for transportation equipment, industrial machinery, primary and fabricated metals, and electrical and electronic goods, as well as expansion and modernization of China’s infrastructure, are key drivers for the increased demand in machine tools. The report also notes that computer numerical control (CNC) machine shop demand for higher-value CNC tools will help the market value.
The fastest-growing category in the next few years will be metal-cutting machine tools, with sales of metal-forming machine tools and machine tool accessories also posting above average gains. Largely, increased investments and output by the manufacturing sector and technological improvements in CNC machining technology have benefitted this category of tools.
Industrial machinery manufacturing, including CNC machining companies, represents the largest source of machine tool demand. As Chinese companies that provide CNC machining services must meet a wide range of applications in different industries, particularly electronics and transportation, they often have significant machine tool requirements.
Demand for imported machine tools such as CNC milling tools is expected to rise 12.2% annually through 2012, with imported tools accounting for nearly 30% of total product demand by 2012, the report says. The call for imports rather than domestically made tools is due to the fact that domestic manufacturers are lagging behind requirements in high-end product categories, despite advances in manufacturing technologies. However, the report also predicts increased exports to countries such as India and some Southeast Asian countries due to improved production standards for machine tools such as CNC turning tools.