Chinese Machine Tool Demand Stays Strong

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Chinese demand for machine tools will grow more than 9 percent annually for the next four years, according to forecasts by a United States industry research firm. A study by Freedonia Group predicts a continuing shift toward higher-performance equipment.

Freedonias recently released study, Machine Tools in China, estimates that machine tools valued at 386 billion (U.S. $63 billion) were purchased in China this year and projects that the value will rise to 600 billion by 2017.

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The firm, which is based in Cleveland, Ohio, said the increase will be largely due to an ongoing shift toward equipment such as machining centers, high-speed computer numerical control machine tools and multi-tasking machines. A Freedonia analyst said manufacturers are interested in more than just the precision and speed at which they produce work pieces.

Increasing regulations regarding energy conservation will lead to growth in demand for energy-efficient machine tools, said analyst Linda Li, who is based in Beijing.

The study concludes that metal cutting equipment will continue to account for most of the industrys purchases – 272 billion in 2017, up from 177 billion in 2012. Purchases of metal forming machine tools will rise from 68 billion to 107 billion over the same period. Accessory purchases are projected to increase from 142 billion to 221 billion. Metal cutting machine tools are used in production of a wide range of durable goods, and the variety of cutting equipment is expected to increase. Metal forming machine tools are popular in industries such as automobiles, shipbuilding, aerospace and energy.

Freedonias study is 253 pages and costs U.S. $5,300.

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