Bearings suppliers are expecting increases of 10 to 30 percent, with OEM orders accounting for the bulk.
Bearing suppliers in China are looking forward to a double-digit surge in exports this year. Some are anticipating growth to reach 30 percent as healthier economic conditions spur demand from various industries, particularly the automotive and machinery sectors.
|Jesa offers angular contact bearings with ABEC 7 rating.|
To realize sales forecasts, many companies will fortify their positions in the OEM segment. Several intend to focus efforts on models with external diameters smaller than 200mm, avoiding direct competition with multinational players such as SKF, FAG and NSK. The target applications include small and midsize machinery, construction equipment and vehicles.
A number of enterprises are also hoping to boost sales to manufacturers of large machines and high-precision instruments. Such companies are a minority, however, since the strategy requires investment in automatic production lines and other advanced facilities.
Geographically, most suppliers will continue to emphasize the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America, which have well-developed industrial sectors. In the six-month period ending April 2011, these areas accounted for more than 85 percent of China’s ball and roller bearing exports.
The Asia-Pacific contributed $721 million to revenue. South Korea, India and Japan were the top destinations in this market.
Shipments to the EU exceeded $500 million, with Germany, Italy and France the largest markets. Deliveries to nonmembers reached $86.8 million.
Exports to North America generated nearly $298 million. Of this revenue, 88 percent came from the US.
|Harbin High-Tech offers roller bearings in ID sizes of up to 1,000mm.|
China’s bearing manufacturers offer steel and plastic types.
Meant mostly for industrial machinery and construction equipment, the former accounts for about 80 percent of output. GCr15 steel dominates raw material choices, but items in other alloys are also available.
Plastic bearings, meanwhile, are designed for light industrial applications such as fitness equipment and household appliances. PP, HDPE and POM models are some of the options in this segment.
Prices depend primarily on the material and size of the product.
In deep-groove ball bearings, for example, single- and double-row models made of GCr15 steel and with external diameters smaller than 40mm do not exceed $1. Versions between 40 and 100mm reach $2.50.
At the higher end of the price spectrum, designs range from 50 to 150mm. These can be in GCr15 steel or 440C stainless steel.
Bearings can be sourced from about 1,500 suppliers in China, half of which export. The bulk of the industry consists of small and midsize companies.
Enterprises in the first group export less than $1.5 million worth each year. Most offer models with external diameters smaller than 100mm.
Midsize operations generate up to $5 million from overseas shipments. Their selections consist primarily of designs not exceeding 120mm.
Companies with a higher export revenue account for less than 5 percent of the supplier base. They offer a wider variety of products, including those with external diameters reaching 500mm.
The Yangtze River Delta region is one of the key manufacturing centers for bearings. Most suppliers in the area provide small and miniature models for automotive and hardware products.
Companies can also be found in Liaoning, Henan and Shandong provinces. These offer mainly medium and large designs for machinery and heavy vehicles.
Between November 2010 and April 2011, China sent abroad $1.9 billion ball and roller bearings. Shanghai was the top source of exports, with shipments from the municipality reaching $999.3 million. Zhejiang accounted for $429.5 million, while Shandong contributed $158.6 million to the revenue.
Note: This article "Traditional markets to drive bearings export growth" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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