Feb 20, 2020
No matter how you look at 2019, the adverse factors brought about by the collision between the two superpowers, China and the United States, still have a lot of adverse effects on the laser market. The achievements of the Chinese government in stimulating the development of the foreign trade economy by reducing the burden on enterprises and implementing loose fiscal policies have been hit by the trade war, which has affected various manufacturing industries, including the industrial laser industry.
So far, 2019 has been a crazy year for most industries. Sino-US trade tariffs are the main cause of this uncertainty, and these tariffs have indirectly caused other problems: the negative impact on the Sino-US economy and the deterioration of Sino-US relations. China is the largest market for industrial laser products, especially in the field of material processing. According to statistics of import and export data, about one-third of laser products (mainly fiber lasers) are imported or manufactured in China, cutting thousands of sheet metal Powered by systems, these systems will then be exported to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, India, and even some Western markets. In the laser category, with higher power at the same price, Chinese manufacturers provide most of these lasers to US and European companies.
Tariff levels in the United States and China have not had many negative direct effects on lasers entering China. First, most large US laser manufacturers are multinational corporations and have the ability to relocate their laser production to other countries as needed. Lasers manufactured outside the United States are not subject to statutory control and are not subject to customs duties when shipped to China. Therefore, these companies are not shipping US-made lasers to China, but by transferring manufacturing to Europe, bypassing tariffs, These lasers are shipped to China. Others have moved their laser factories to China to avoid tariffs. Small and medium-sized US laser manufacturers that are unable to do this may be hit harder. Secondly, many lasers exported to China are dedicated high value-added lasers, and there are fewer alternatives on the market. Tariffs do apply to these lasers, but because they have enough profit margins, they are still within the range of cost increases that manufacturers can afford. Especially for lasers used for scientific research purposes, by virtue of its own high value-added space, it is enough to offset part of the tariff.
The tariffs imposed on China's laser products exported to the United States have also been affected, and are not serious as a whole. The laser products that China exports to the United States are usually relatively low-cost laser cutting machines and laser marking / engraving machines. Such products have little competition in markets outside China. Most U.S. manufacturers have long exited the business of these devices, especially in the face of competition in low-cost regions represented by China. Even if tariffs are imposed on these lasers, their cost is still lower than the cost of U.S.-made competing products . In this case, American consumers will eventually have to pay tariffs.
Although the trade tariffs between China and the United States have not directly negatively affected the sales of laser products, this does not mean that everything is fine. Affected by the trade war, China's manufacturing industry is suffering from cold weather, with reduced demand and reduced shipments. As the largest user of the laser industry, this trend will gradually affect the laser industry more and more. In fact, in recent years, with the expansion of the economic scale, the trend that the Chinese economy has actually slowed down is already obvious. However, for lasers, the biggest problem may not be in China, but the economic slowdown in Europe. As one of the world's largest economies, the EU's problems are likely to expand with the environment. For more than a decade, the global economic situation has never been in such a dangerous situation. Economic growth around the world is faltering, the euro area is hovering on the brink of recession, and central banks in various countries have resumed easy monetary policy just one year after the global tightening policy.
Laser revenue is still under pressure