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Industry cashes in on upgrading

Zhong Nan
Updated: Feb 15,2017 9:50 AM     China Daily

Technical workers assemble engines at a Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd plant in Yiwu, Zhejiang province.[Photo/China Daily]

Chinese machinery manufacturers have made notable technological breakthroughs to supply high-end products for big-ticket nuclear, ultrahigh voltage, hydro and wind power projects, senior officials said on Feb 14.

The high-end products include a fourth-generation power pressure vessel for a nuclear reactor made by Shanghai Electric Group Co Ltd for the Shidaowan nuclear power plant in Shandong province, and Harbin Electric Corp’s nuclear coolant pump system and digital control system platform for the nuclear power plant built by Beijing-based HollySys Automation Technologies Ltd.

Exports of China’s machinery products such as cranes, mining and oil drilling equipment dropped 3.6 percent year-on-year to $374.8 billion in 2016, while imports fell 1.82 percent to $272.7 billion.

Zhao Chi, executive vice-president of the Beijing-based China Machinery Industry Federation, said even though China’s infrastructure, steel and coal sectors witnessed declining demand last year, the industrial upgrading boom stimulated new market growth points from high-end machinery manufacturing.

The sales revenue amounted to 24.55 trillion yuan ($3.58 trillion) in 2016, up 7.44 percent on a year-on-year basis. Fixed-asset investment in the machinery sector grew by 1.7 percent to 5.01 trillion yuan, according to data released by the CMIF.

The federation said that output related to consumption and environmental protection jumped significantly in 2016, with air and water pollution control equipment increasing by 29.65 percent and 37.04 percent on a year-on-year basis, respectively.

Sales of passenger vehicles also grew by 15 percent to 24.38 million units, including 5.07 million new energy vehicles last year.

“As many countries are adopting trade protectionism measures to protect their own industries, diversifying market channels in countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative will help companies ease export pressure, and proper after-sales services,” said Cai Weici, a senior adviser at the CMIF.

“Weak domestic market demand for machinery in steel, coal, power, oil refineries and chemical industries will remain long-term as all of these sectors readjust their product development focus,” said Zhao Ying, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Industrial Economics.

CMIF said the sector will grow 6 percent in both sales and profits in 2017 and export growth will remain similar to the 2016 figure.

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