Quality Magazine

China Is Top Consumer of Machine Tools

April 1, 2004

CINCINNATI-China is the leading consumer of machine tools, according to an annual survey. The 2004 World Tool Output & Consumption Survey, released by Gardner Publications Inc., states Chinese factories acquired an estimated $6.5 billion dollars worth of machine tools in 2003, moving the country from fourth place to first place in a year's time.

Chinese consumption jumped 27% in 2003, a year when many companies' machine-tool consumption levels remained stagnant. When measured in U.S. dollars, other countries that saw an increase include India with a 50% increase, South Korea with a 41% increase, Japan with a 28% increase and Taiwan with an 11% increase.

Throughout the 1990s, the United States was the leading purchaser of machine tools, but U.S. machine-tool consumption declined 23% in 2001. In 2002, consumption dropped by 36% to $3.3 billion, and 2003 saw a 1% increase. Until the decline, the United States lead in machine-tool consumption since 1993.

Consumption is calculated as domestic production plus imports and less exports.

On the output side, the study reveals that countries with substantial machine-tool producing industries created $36.3 billion worth of equipment last year, a 30% increase from 2002. Japan lead output for 2003 with total production of $7.7 billion, followed by Germany with $7.5 billion.