Shanghai, China 21-23 October 2024

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2015 Import and Export Overview of China’s Hardware Industry

I. The foreign trade scale continues to expand but the growth rate greatly declines
According to the Customs’ statistics, total foreign trade volume of China’s hardware industry in January – December 2015 was 125.31 billion US dollars, growing 0.75% year on year. The growth rate was 9.49% lower than the previous year. The export volume during the aforesaid period of time was 103.72 billion US dollars, growing 2.81% year on year; the growth rate was 8.5% lower than the previous year. The import volume was 21.60 billion US dollars, decreasing 8.11% year on year; the growth rate was 13.96% lower than the previous year. The growth rates of both imports and exports of China’s hardware industry greatly declined in 2015 and the monthly trade showed negative growth.

II. Majority of the sub-sectors keep positive growth of foreign trade
In January – December 2015, import and export volumes of four sub-sectors, including building hardware, tool, sanitary ware and hardware for daily use, were comparatively high in the whole hardware industry and respectively accounted for over 10% of the overall foreign trade volume of the industry. The import and export volumes of the aforesaid four sub-sectors accounted for 76.75% of the overall foreign trade volume of the industry in total.

The sectors of kitchen fittings, gas appliance, kitchenware, aluminum ware, lockset, sanitary ware and hardware for daily use achieved positive growth of foreign trade in 2015. Growth rate of the aforesaid sectors were higher than the average growth rate of the industry. The kitchen fittings saw the highest growth rate, which was nearly 30%. The yearly foreign trades of five sub-sectors, including zipper, tool, stainless steel tableware, extractor hood and building hardware have seen decline, which was not so obvious. The building hardware industry saw the largest decline, which was no more than -5%.

III. The overall foreign trade growth rate is higher than the light industry and the hardware industry continues to enhance its market position
During January – December 2015, the foreign trade volumes of China’s light industry decreased by 5.35% year on year. The hardware industry saw a year-on-year growth of 0.75% and kept a positive growth, which was higher than that of the whole light industry.

IV. The trade surplus continues to increase but the surplus growth rate declines
As China’s hardware industry is export oriented, the export trade plays an important role in the industry’s development. In January –December 2015, foreign trade surplus of China’s hardware industry was 82.12 billion US dollars, which was 4.78 billion US dollar higher than that of the corresponding period in 2014, growing 6.18% year on year. The year-by-year growth of trade surplus showed that the hardware industry remained an important export-oriented sector in light industry of China and continued to enhance its international competiveness.

V. The general trade advantages continue to expand
In January – December 2015, the total import and export volume through general trade reached 91.057 billion US dollars, decreasing 1.09% year on year which was 1.36% lower than the previous year. Such import and export volume accounted for 72.67% of the total foreign trade volume of China’s hardware industry. As the general trade has a long industrial chain as well as strong leading capacities, the high proportion of general trade would be helpful for the enterprises to increase their added value of exports and to gain more profits; it would also further promote the trade structure optimization of China’s hardware industry.

VI. Higher hardware export prices have boosted development of the industry’s export trade
Among the 59 major categories of hardware products in China’s 11 hardware sectors, growth rate of the export prices of 37 categories were higher than that of the export volumes in 2015. However, export volume growth rates of 34 categories were higher than the growth rates of their export quantum. The aforesaid categories accounted for 62.71% of all the exported goods and were 3 more than that of 2014. 4 categories, including gas water heater, silk screen, components of shavers, diamond drilling tools, have seen increase of export volume and decrease of export prices. However, only 2 categories saw such situations in 2014. It shows that China’s hardware industry is transforming its original quantum-oriented trade development mode to price-oriented mode. Rise in the export prices of hardware products has accelerated growth of the exports of the whole industry.

VII. Hardware industry of different regions shows different performance with respect to foreign trade
In 2015, the foreign trade volumes of China’s hardware industry were mainly contributed by Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Shandong, Fujian, Hebei, Liaoning, Tianjin, Beijing and etc., where are located in east and northeast China. The central and western region of China had the foreign trade growth rate of hardware industry in 2015. However, part of the western region also had the largest decline of grow rate with respect to the foreign trade volumes. The hardware industry in western China saw an imbalanced development.

It is observed that the hardware industry of eastern China remained its status in foreign trade and kept its leading edge with respect to the export goods structure, market competiveness and etc. The central China demonstrated great potentials and has raised its regional status. The western China saw comparatively large fluctuation in foreign trade. Its goods structure had a weak risk resistance capacity and was vulnerable to the influence of international market.

VIII. The foreign trade covers a large number of products and scale of the emerging markets is enlarged
The hardware industry of China has a great variety of goods currently. Outputs of a large number of products rank the first in the world and account for a large portion in the global market. According to the statistics of the Customs, there are 11 categories of hardware products in total which involve 239 Tax ID. The hardware products are exported to five continents of the world, covering 237 countries and regions, including the U.S., Japan, German, England, HK, Vietnam, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea and etc. Six new regions were added into the export destination list in 2015. Besides, the hardware products are mainly imported from German, Japan, the U.S., South Korea, Taiwan Region, China, Italy, France, England, Thailand and other 167 countries and regions, which was 21 less than that of 2013. However, 18 countries and regions began to supply hardware products to China in 2015. China continues to strengthen its status of hardware manufacture hub.

The light industry further optimized the foreign trade market pattern in 2015 and greatly accelerated its diversified foreign-trade market. The Sino-Japanese and Sino-European bilateral trading volumes of hardware products have respectively decreased by 9.84% and 3.97%. The foreign trade volumes between China and the emerging markets in South America and Africa continued to increase. The trade volumes with Pakistan, Singapore, Chile, Peru and other free trade zones have seen a rapid growth as before. The bilateral trade volumes with Pakistan FTZ were increased by 66.29% and that with Singapore FTZ, Peru FTZ and Chile FTZ were respectively increased by 17.62%, 15.06% and 13.98%. The foreign trade of China’s hardware industry began to evolve to the diversified market pattern and scale of the emerging markets continued to expand. As a result, the weak export growth drives caused by the lack of traditional market demands were greatly recovered.

IX. B&R drives the industry development
“The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road” (B&R) is an important strategic decision that the Party Central Committee and the State Council jointly made according to the global situations as well as China’s development. Among the 64 countries along the B&R, most are emerging and developing countries. China’s total export volumes to such countries in 2015 were 31.771 billion US dollars, which accounted for 30.63% of the total export volumes of China’s hardware industry and decreased 2.5% year on year. The import volumes from those countries were 1.76 billion US dollars, which accounted for 8.15% of the total import volumes of China’s hardware industry and grew 3% year on year.

The B&R strategy is aimed to balance the development of both eastern and western China, create a great channel of transportation and logistics, facilitate the trade and investment, accelerate the financial cooperation of all relevant countries, speed up the opening of the central and western regions, urge the industrial upgrade of the eastern region and find new development drives for China’s economy. The connection of all seaway will create an impact on the global economic aggregate and trade volumes. As the B&R strategy will greatly accelerate the bilateral trading cooperation, China’s hardware industry will realize a great development.

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