(Yicai Global) March 28 -- China's exports of excavators jumped 34 percent last month from a year earlier as countries around the world build more infrastructure to boost their economies.
China shipped 9,958 diggers abroad in February, according to figures from the China Construction Machinery Association. Twenty-six manufacturers sold a total of 21,450 excavators in the month, with overseas sales exceeding domestic sales in the first two months of the year.
The overseas infrastructure market has picked up since last month, Gao Lei, assistant general manager of Sinomach-HI International Equipment, which mainly exports engineering equipment, including mid-sized and big diggers, told Yicai Global.
The Beijing-based company’s exports are likely to surge 70 percent to 80 percent this quarter from a year ago, Gao noted. The most noticeable growth comes from markets in Southeast Asia and South America, Gao said, adding that Sinomach-HI's exports to the Philippines surged 60 percent last year, while those to Argentina doubled.
Construction sites in Southeast Asia worked an average 198 hours a month last year, between two and four times more than that of other regions or countries, according to industry data from Komatsu.
Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group, a leading Chinese heavy machinery maker, recently said that its exports hit a record high in 2022, and it expects them to grow further this year. Exports to counties and regions along the Belt and Road initiative equal about 70 percent of its total, according to the Jiangsu province-based company.
Exports of micro and small excavators for domestic and agricultural use benefited from the development of China's economy and began to bounce back earlier. Exports of mini diggers have been rising for the past two years, but the main markets remain Europe and the United States, the head of construction machinery operations at Alibaba International said to Yicai Global.
Funds have been invested in the Middle East and Southeast Asia to support the industry's future development, the person added. Growth in the excavator sector is likely to increase this year from 2022 and remain stable in the next 5 years, he said.
Under government infrastructure plans in Southeast Asian and other countries, exports of mid-sized and large excavators will continue to grow in the next two to three years, Sinomach-HI's Gao noted.
Compared with the industry's global leaders, such as Caterpillar and Komatsu, leading Chinese digger makers can improve further. Markets outside of China present a competitive environment for Chinese and overseas leaders.
Editors: Shi Yi, Martin Kadiev