Chinese makers of small home appliances are seeing explosive growth in exports as most people remain indoors and increasingly cook for themselves amid extended COVID-19-related lockdowns worldwide.
Industry experts said the surge in overseas orders also reflects the robust recovery of China's economy, and the country's home appliance sector has picked up momentum following the resumption of work and production.
Guangdong Bear Electric Co Ltd, a maker of small home appliances, said its foreign orders jumped more than 180 percent on a yearly basis in the first three quarters.
The company has seen rapid growth in sales in Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States, with meat grinders, eggbeaters and humidifiers seeing the best performance.
Founded in 2006, Bear Electric develops and produces a series of unique and creative small household electrical appliances mainly destined for kitchens and increasingly attractive to a youthful demographic.
Li Junwei, vice-president of Guangdong Flying Fish Group－another small home appliance maker－said its exports have surged over 600 percent year-on-year this year, with humidifiers and vacuum cleaners seeing significant growth in sales.
According to market consultancy iiMedia Research, first half exports of homegrown electric frying pans rose 62.9 percent year-on-year, toasters were up 34.7 percent and juicers 12.1 percent.
Statistics from Alibaba.com－Alibaba Group's business-to-business (B2B) platform that helps facilitate foreign trade－showed accumulated export turnover of home appliances skyrocketed 200 percent year-on-year in the third quarter.
Demand overseas for air purifiers, facial care devices and freezers jumped more than 200 percent during the period.
Offshore orders for small home appliances nearly doubled during the recent Singles Day shopping extravaganza, according to JD Global Sales, which is operated by Chinese e-commerce giant JD and offers a wide selection of commodities for shoppers overseas.
"As offshore cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, China has become one of the few countries to have complete industrial chains and be capable of handling large-scale orders from overseas," said Li Ting, research director from the kitchen appliances department of market consultancy All View Cloud.
Countless people overseas are stuck indoors during the pandemic, which has boosted sales of small home appliances, Li said, adding that toasters and blenders are particularly favored by foreign consumers.
Li said that with the rapid growth of the home appliance industry over the past decade, China has already become a major global manufacturer of such products. She is therefore bullish on the prospects of Chinese small home appliance makers.
Guangdong Xinbao Electrical Appliances Holdings Co Ltd said that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the company's production capacity was limited in the first quarter, which had an impact on its export orders to some extent. However, with the resumption of work and production, it can now satisfy surging demand from overseas markets.
The company specializes in designing and manufacturing small home appliances such as electric kettles, blenders, toasters and coffee makers. Over 95 percent of its revenue comes from buyers from more than 100 countries and regions across the globe, including Europe, Australia and the US.
Its sales revenue from abroad increased by about 25 percent year-on-year in the first nine months. The company said consumers from Europe and the US are recently spending more time at home as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, and they exhibit strong demand for kitchen appliances, such as coffee makers. Liang Zhenpeng, an independent consumer electronics analyst, said China is the world's largest production base for home appliance products, with complete industrial chains ranging from upstream materials and components supply to downstream machine manufacturing.
Liang said production and logistics at overseas factories have been affected by the pandemic, while Chinese production capacity has fully recovered following the resumption of work and production as the contagion comes under efficient control in China.
In addition, according to data from technology service company Tianyancha, the number of registered small home appliance makers in China rose to 36,000 between March and April from 12,000 in the January to February period. Wu Haitao, deputy director of the National Electrical Appliance Industry Information Center, said Chinese exports of home appliances grew by 17.3 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters.