Rise in Chinese exports of heating products to Europe

A worker sorts air conditioner parts for export at a factory in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province. [Photot by Hu Guolin/for China Daily]

High-quality household appliances at good prices are increasingly popular with Europeans

Although it is still summer in Europe, Chinese exports of heaters, including electric heaters, electric blankets and air-source heat pumps, have seen explosive growth this year as the continent plagued by its biggest energy crisis in decades, with natural gas supplies from Russia becoming volatile, industry experts said.

The European Union’s statistics office showed that the annual energy price inflation rate in the EU reached 38.3% in July, among which the prices of natural gas and electricity rose jumped 52.2% and 31.1% respectively. Many European countries have accelerated their efforts to advance the transition of their energy structures.

China’s General Administration of Customs said the country’s exports of electric blankets and electric heaters soared 97% and 23% year-on-year, respectively, in the first seven months, as European consumers are increasing their purchases of heaters ahead of the upcoming winter.

The European market has been a major growth driver for China’s home appliance exports. Demand for imported electric heaters is increasing, particularly in Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany, while import demand for electric blankets has more than doubled in Greece, Italy, Poland, in Germany and the Netherlands.

Currently, China is the main supplier of air-source heat pumps – a common heating technology that supplies thermal energy from the ambient air outdoors for indoor heating – to Europe, occupying approximately 60% of the global market, said the China Association of Household Electrical Appliances.

In the first half of the year, China’s air-source heat pump exports to Bulgaria, Poland, Italy and Spain grew 614%, 373%, 198% and 71% year-on-year, respectively.

“Russia has cut off gas supplies to several European countries, which has fueled soaring prices for natural gas and other energy, leading to huge demand for energy-efficient heaters,” Bo said. Wenxi, chief economist at marketing firm Interpublic Group China.

Against the backdrop of soaring energy prices and natural gas shortages, high-quality Chinese heaters at reasonable prices are increasingly popular with European consumers, Bo said.

Germans bought 600,000 electric heaters in the first half of the year, up nearly 35% from a year earlier, according to market researcher GfK.

Zhou Nan, general secretary of the household appliances branch of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, said exports of heaters have increased significantly over the past six months. months, and that air-source heat pumps, which serve as a high-efficiency heat source in cold climates, have enormous growth potential.

China’s air-source heat pump industry revenue was 7.19 billion yuan ($1.04 billion) in the first half, up nearly 30 percent year on year, Based on data from ChinaIOL.com, a professional research institute specializing in data monitoring in home appliance market.

Domestic sales of air source heat pumps rose 6.82% year on year to 3.74 billion yuan, while the export value reached 3.45 billion yuan, up 68.2% on an annual basis. Italy, Poland and Spain recorded year-on-year increases of more than 50% in the first six months of 2022.

Exports of air-source heat pumps are expected to maintain a growth rate of more than 50 percent this year due to growing demand for energy-efficient heating equipment across the world, ChinaIOL said.

In the first seven months, exports of heat pumps from Chinese home appliance company Midea jumped 215 percent year on year, ChinaIOL said. Haier Group said exports of its air-source heat pumps jumped 200 percent year on year in the first half, and the products were mainly sold to European countries.

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