Source: Information Consultancy Department of CHEAA

Covid-19 battered the global economy and drove it into a downturn in the first half of 2020. Amid the broad sluggishness, exports of home appliances from China also suffered a blow given the stock market fluctuations, shrinking supply and demand, stagnating global trade, escalating geopolitical conflicts, extreme weather events and uncertainties of trade conflicts.

The accumulative export value of home appliances from China for H1 amounted to 35.24 billion USD, down by 2.3% year-on-year. After a fall of 12.8% year-on-year in Q1, the export value rallied in Q2 with a 10.9% rise in April, a 3.3% fall in May and a 14.19% rise in June. Home appliance manufacturers sped up their pace to clear the backlog of orders in March after resumed production, leading to a pickup in exports in March and a 10.9% rise in April. The exports took a dip in May with overseas markets under the order of social distancing, but recovered in June when overseas demand picked up again.

From January to June 2020, the accumulative export volume of large home appliances came to 0.12 billion units, up by 4.2% year-on-year, with export value down by 0.41% year-on-year to 14.42 billion USD. For the same period of time, the export volume and value of portable appliances came to 1.16 billion units and 14.81 billion USD respectively, a fall of 4.67% and a rise of 0.7% respectively; the export value of components came to 6.02 billion USD, down by 12.82% year-on-year.

The restorative growth in Q2 mainly came from two parts: products for the coming high season of overseas markets such as air conditioners and electric fans, and products in large demand amid coronavirus such as microwave ovens, food processors and vacuum cleaners. Plus, freezers and refrigerators also saw a surge of overseas orders following the several covid-19 outbreaks linked to meat processing plants around the world. From January to June 2020, exported compressor type refrigerators from China to the US registered 3.23 million units from January to June 2020, up by 31.8% year-on-year while freezers 2.15 million units, up by a staggering 79% year-on-year.

When it comes to regions, exports to Asia rose by 0.04% year-on-year by value to account for 38.9% in H1 2020, making it the largest importer of home appliances from China; exports to the Europe followed behind to account for 26.2% with export value down by 2.02% year-on-year; exports to North America made the third position for three consecutive years to account for 22.6% with export value down by 2.7% year-on-year. Exports to Latin America fell by 12.7% year-on-year by value, the worst of all economies, with exports of large appliances, portable appliances and components down by 11.2%, 16.9% and 9.9% respectively by value. Exports to Africa fell by 9.88% year-on-year after a two-year restorative growth. Exports to Oceania rose by 4.56% year-on-year. Exports to ASEAN grew by 19.3% by value, a steady growth for the eighth year, making it a strong driver of China’s home appliance export growth.

China’s home appliance industry shows strong resilience in the face of coronavirus-hit global market. On one hand, government bodies carried out targeted measures to stabilize trade situation while cut the red tape to help enterprises improve efficiency after conducted several rounds of surveys regarding exports. On the other hand, as overseas home appliance manufacturers suspended production at their production bases amid coronavirus, China’s home appliance industry leveraged its full industry chain and provided stable supply to consumers across the world as a country that resumed production earlier than the other countries.