Japan machine tool orders up 9.7 per cent in January

Machine tool orders received by Japanese machine manufacturers in January 2021 rose 9.7 per cent from a year before to 88.6 billion yen, industry data have shown.

The increase mainly reflected brisk orders from China, which apparently overcame the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic ahead of other countries.

Orders from abroad jumped 21.6 per cent to 62.2 billion yen, thanks to increasing demand for machine tools for producing personal computers and smartphones, according to preliminary data released by the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association. Demand for use in semiconductor manufacturing equipment was also strong amid global chip shortages.

Meanwhile, domestic machine tool orders dropped 10.9 per cent to 26.3 billion yen, falling for the 26th straight month.

An official of the association said the ongoing state of emergency over the epidemic declared by the Japanese government in early January is affecting machine tool orders to a certain extent, although the impact is not as serious as the one the industry experienced at the time of the previous emergency declaration in spring last year.

The machine tool orders increase year-on-year comes on the back of a 9.9 per cent rise in December 2020 and a 8.6 per cent growth in November 2020.