At Construction Fair, China’s Silk Road Feeds Hope Of 2017 Recovery

One America News Network | 11/22/2016 | Staff
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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – After five years of falling revenue, forecourts overcrowded with unsold machinery and idle factories, China’s push to build a modern day Silk Road is fuelling a recovery for the country’s heavy equipment industry, according to executives from many companies gathered in Shanghai this week.

Construction equipment makers – a proxy for China’s infrastructure, resources and construction sectors – suffered a plunge in sales after 2011, as commodity prices collapsed.

Industry - Sales - China - Year - Consultancy

Industry sales in China peaked that year at $35 billion, according to consultancy Off-Highway Research; and this year, they are estimated at $9 billion – the worst sales level in more than a decade.

But speaking at a crowded biennial industry show this week, executives from machinery makers said that in the third quarter of this year there were finally signs of life. They now expect growth next year for the first time since 2011, as a glut of used equipment ages, the industry works through accumulated inventory and companies benefit from ambitious government projects.

Demand - Excavators - China - Percent - September

Overall demand for excavators in China jumped by 50 percent in September, while sales of earth-moving and road-making machinery, a major beneficiary of the Silk Road effort, turned positive after five years of losses, according to Off-Highway.

“We’ve seen fairly significant signs of bottoming and turning around,” said David Beatenbough, a vice-president of Guangxi LiuGong Machinery Co Ltd , one of China’s largest construction machinery manufacturers, where he overseas research and development.

Bit - Rail - Roads… - Bit - Estate

“We’re seeing quite a bit in rail, some in roads… and a little bit in traditional real estate,” he said.

China has estimated the Silk Road initiative, known as ‘One Belt, One Road’, could add $2.5 trillion to China’s trade in the next decade, making it critical to the post-financial crisis turnaround – and the benefits will go well beyond machine makers.

President - Xi - Jinping - Initiative

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s initiative, includes a...
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