China is the world’s largest producer of home air conditioners. In recent years, more than 70% of home air conditioners have come from China. With the upgrading of the trade war between China and the United States and the rapid changes in the global form of foreign trade, what kind of situation will China's home air-conditioner exports face in 2018?
Europe's economic growth slowed in the first quarter. Analysts pointed out that rising external risks such as protectionism and geopolitical factors have dragged down the growth of the euro zone. However, the economic quality of the euro zone is slowly improving. Consumption is the main driving force for the current growth and remains relatively strong. Coupled with the ECB’s continued loose monetary policy support, the euro zone’s economic growth is expected to remain stable. In terms of countries, Italy, France and Spain still maintain a relatively large increase, while Russia, the largest importer of domestic air-conditioners, is lower than the previous year's normal level due to the summer temperature in the previous year, resulting in an increase in local inventories from August 2017. Exports began to decline sharply and are expected to affect 2018 sales throughout the year.
North America's growth is better because the United States is the largest air-conditioning market in North America, and the first quarter was the peak season for domestic air conditioners to export to the United States. In addition, the unemployment rate was at the lowest point in 17 years. However, with the announcement of the China Commodity Office’s announcement of a list of Chinese goods for which a 25% tariff will be imposed, trade frictions between China and the United States continue to escalate. Judging from the list of Chinese goods for which tariffs are intended to be imposed, although it does not involve household air-conditioning, it has caused tension and will inevitably have negative effects on air-conditioning exports. Therefore, the export of home-use air-conditioners to the United States in 2018 may be affected.
The largest regions for air-conditioning exports in Asia are Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and these two regions have enjoyed good growth, rising by 12% and 18% respectively. Indonesia is the fastest-growing country in Southeast Asia. The local weather is hot and the air-conditioning penetration rate is still low. Its demand may climb in recent years. However, India, Southeast Asia's largest home air conditioner importing country, has affected the daily life of the people because of the currency crisis. Due to the uncertainty of the cash flow status, domestic consumption has dropped significantly, which may affect the export of domestic air conditioners in China.
Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran are the countries with the largest number of household air conditioners exported to the Middle East. Among them, the United Arab Emirates has the fastest growth, followed by Iran, which grew by 52% and 29% respectively. The United Arab Emirates will host the Dubai World Expo in October 2020. The infrastructure will expand in the next few years, which may drive the expansion of the air-conditioning market. However, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates started to impose value-added tax on most goods and services in January 2018, which may have a certain impact on the consumer market of home air-conditioning.
China's home air conditioner exports to Africa fell in the first quarter, mainly due to the increase in export prices of air conditioners that affected the purchasing enthusiasm of local suppliers. Although in the first half of the year, it was the peak season for air conditioning orders in North Africa, but Algeria and Libya both experienced declines, of which Libya’s decline was as high as 73% due to the impact of civil strife.