The orders for machine tools issued by the Japan Work Machinery Industry Association in April 2020 show that orders for China decreased by 26% year-on-year to 11.5 billion yen. The order value was lower than the previous year for 26 consecutive months, but the decline was significantly reduced compared with 43.8% in March.
Orders from China currently account for about one-third of total external demand. Jin Shang, who has an advantage in the machine tool market for the Chinese market and semiconductor manufacturing equipment, pointed out that "in China, many projects make people feel the impact of government subsidies behind it." The Chinese government has positioned areas such as 5G and data centers as the core of the economic response after the epidemic has subsided. It is increasing subsidies, etc. This seems to be having an impact on machine tool orders.
Okuma also said, "In China, the demand for construction machinery and hydraulic components is recovering." Due to the closure of the city and other measures, construction projects that were stuck in January-February were restarted, and the sales of local hydraulic excavators hit a record high in March and April.
However, the orders for machine tools continued to slump globally. Japan's total domestic and foreign orders decreased by 48.3% year-on-year to 56.1 billion yen. Among them, external demand decreased by 46.3% to 34.9 billion yen. Orders for Europe, which expanded to the new epidemic, were reduced by 66.7% to 5.4 billion yen due to stagnation in equipment investment. Orders in North America also decreased by 41.5% to 11.8 billion yen.
Domestic demand decreased by 51.4% to 21.1 billion yen. All industries have experienced a decline, especially orders for automotive-related fields, which account for about 30% of domestic demand, which has dropped significantly by 61.5% to 4.8 billion yen. This is the first time that a single monthly order has fallen below 5 billion yen after 10 years and 3 months.
According to the Japan Work Machinery Industry Association, "due to the increase in the construction of 5G base stations and the popularization of home offices, the demand for personal computers and tablets has increased, and the demand for semiconductor manufacturing equipment has increased, but it has not offset the overall decline."