Changing from construction equipment to laser cutting machinery in 2020, Ma Tongwei, a foreign trader, has received orders that have doubled in recent years against the trend. Even in the context of the global economic downturn, he is continuing to promote the plan for capacity expansion. for larger scale production.

  With the end of the era of China's foreign trade boom under the epidemic, the foreign trade industry has begun to show an increasingly obvious trend of differentiation.

At a time when the traditional manufacturing industry is generally under the pressure of shrinking orders, some sub-sectors such as new energy, heating equipment and World Cup-related products are bucking the trend and rising.

  Liu Ting, who established Shenzhen Litai Energy Technology Co., Ltd. in 2018, is also a foreign trader who has entered the right business—she chose household energy storage products among the popular new energy batteries in recent years.

The company's export growth rate this year is as high as 220%, "higher than in previous years"; the growth rate in 2021 will also reach 150%.

  In the downturn period when domestic demand and external demand contract at the same time, the biggest headache for enterprises is undoubtedly the sharp reduction in orders in hand.

According to data released by the Service Industry Survey Center of the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing on November 30, from the classification index of the manufacturing industry, the core order index has declined more severely.

The manufacturing new orders index was 46.4%, a sharp drop of 1.7 percentage points from October.

Among them, the new export orders index was 46.7%, down 0.9 percentage points from the previous month.

  However, among the top ten commodities for 2022 released by the cross-border e-commerce platform Alibaba International Station on December 5, many of them have shown a tendency to double their sales this year.

The top ten products are household solar energy, electric blankets, wall-mounted charging piles, industrial laser machinery, mobile prefabricated houses, camping tents, World Cup peripherals, leisure beekeeping equipment, electric bicycles, false eyelashes and nail stickers.

  Apparently, those Chinese manufacturers who have grown against the trend and those foreign traders who have seized business opportunities are not only lucky, but also highlight the resilience and flexibility of China's supply chain.

"Double Carbon" Business Opportunities and Digitalization

  It is no longer news that new energy products continue to explode.

Compared with the short-term factors of the European energy crisis, the promotion of the global "dual carbon" goal is a longer-term motivation.

  According to data from Ali International Station, the sales of domestic new energy-related products have maintained triple-digit growth for three consecutive years.

Among them, the number of buyers of photovoltaic system products in 2022 will increase by 62.68% year-on-year, and the sales volume will increase by 162.89% year-on-year; the number of buyers of new energy charging piles will increase by 2.5 times year-on-year, and the transaction volume will increase by 184%.

Affected by the energy crisis, in addition to photovoltaic and new energy charging piles, the export of industrial laser machinery and electric bicycles also increased, and the sales of heating equipment such as electric blankets, electric water heaters, and electric heaters ushered in a surge.

  According to customs statistics, in the first 10 months of this year, my country's export of mechanical and electrical products was 11.25 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 9.6%. Among them, exports of lithium batteries and solar batteries increased by 87.1% and 78.6% respectively.

  "This year our orders have increased by 60% compared to last year. The growth continued during the epidemic, but this year is especially obvious." Zhong Xuefen, assistant president of the Marketing Center of Mercer (Guangdong) New Energy Technology Co., Ltd., previously told Yicai Global that from late February this year Up to now, the production capacity has been increasing, especially in the first half of the year, and it is in a state of "always rushing to work, and orders are always saturated".

  In order to meet the fast-growing demand for orders, Mercer has expanded its plant capacity by 30% this year, and is using the improvement of efficiency to expand production capacity in the process of accelerating automation and digital transformation.

  In addition to the energy crisis and business opportunities under the "double carbon", with the breakthrough of technology and the continuous reduction of costs, the cost advantage of new energy power generation pioneered by photovoltaics has surpassed some traditional energy sources, which laid the foundation for the outbreak of new energy market demand. Base.

  The growth drivers behind the industrial laser machinery industry that Ma Tongwei is looking at are somewhat similar.

As the general manager of Shandong Ruitu Laser Technology Co., Ltd., he believes that the core reason why the company's orders have doubled in recent years is that "the technical barriers of laser cutting machines have been broken through, and the price has also been reduced from more than one million yuan to a The current 200,000 to 300,000 yuan", which gives the factory greater motivation to replace labor with laser cutting machines with higher precision and efficiency under the needs of transformation and upgrading.

  In 2022, the number of global buyers of industrial laser machinery on Ali International Station will increase by 51.1% year-on-year, and the transaction will increase by 36.3%.

It is estimated that by 2027, China will account for 30% of the global laser machinery supply.

At present, China's laser machines have achieved a high degree of substitution for European and American products in the low-end market, and are also continuously improving the cost performance of Chinese laser machines.

  According to Zhang Kuo, President of Alibaba International Station, the overall foreign trade market is facing greater fluctuations this year, and the increasingly digitalized foreign trade capabilities can help merchants gain a keener insight into opportunities.

  Facing the fierce competition in the domestic market, Ma Tongwei, who has been doing foreign trade for more than ten years, decided to focus on foreign markets, and gradually found a place in the international market by taking advantage of the maturity and high cost performance of China's supply chain.

"Our agents in Vietnam and India also thought about buying our accessories and then assembling and producing them locally, but they all failed after trying." Ma Tongwei believes that the integrity of China's supply chain and the cost-effectiveness of Chinese manufacturing are great advantages .

In the next step, while expanding production capacity, they will also continue to upgrade towards high-end, unmanned and automated directions, and increase profits through the development of new products.

With the expansion of export scale, they also plan to establish stations in major countries or regions to strengthen after-sales service.

Dongfeng and China's speed in the World Cup

  In order to undertake the rapidly rising orders and seize opportunities in the fierce competition, we must have sufficient timely and rapid response.

  The World Cup in Qatar, which has attracted worldwide attention, made the fan village's container apartment priced at US$200 a night explode.

In this World Cup, a total of 12,000 sets of such mobile houses were made by Chinese suppliers, and the "Chinese speed" was also staged.

  Ye Yikai, chairman of Guangdong Zhonghui Green Construction Mobile Housing Technology Co., Ltd., told China Business News that they began to receive inquiries from the World Cup in May this year, and received the first order for 1,000 sets of prefabricated mobile homes at the end of July. Realized the ultra-fast speed of "complete proofing within 5 days, complete production and delivery within 18 days".

  But such speeds cannot be achieved by manpower alone.

Ye Yikai said that the overall order schedule for the World Cup is very tight, and the product's fault tolerance rate is also very low.

They not only need to consider the loading space during shipping, but also consider the convenience of the other party’s installation after delivery. For this reason, they have done a lot of research, and combined with the local weather and sand conditions in the Middle East, the overall mobile home Sound insulation, heat insulation, wind and sand resistance and other performances have been fully developed and improved, and finally completed by a fully automated robot, "a robot can complete the production of a mobile house every day"; and each part is like Lego blocks. After being transported to the site, it can achieve the convenience and efficiency that an average worker can use simple tools to install 1.2 apartments per day, and the installation method does not require cutting and will not generate construction waste.

  In September, Ye Yikai and the others received an additional order of 1,000 sets from the World Cup.

So far, orders from the World Cup have contributed about 40% of the company's exports this year.

  According to data from Ali International Station, in 2022, the number of global buyers of smart mobile prefabricated houses will increase by 10.7% year-on-year, and the transaction volume will increase by 37.87%.

The cross-border index of Ali International Station predicts that in the next three years, one-third of the buildings in overseas markets will adopt prefabrication, and the application of prefabricated "mobile board houses" will increase in many fields such as hospitals, commercial, industrial, and civil uses. .

  In addition to quick response and strong integration capabilities, reliable technology and rich implementation experience are the other side of the competitiveness of China's supply chain.

  Before accepting the World Cup order, Ye Yikai and the others set up offices in many places overseas, and had many landing cases such as making containers into seaside holiday apartments and commercial cultural streets. "We have more than 80 invention patents. It has strong research and development capabilities for new products." Ye Yikai concluded.

  As the largest supplier of mobile housing for the World Cup in Qatar, Zhejiang Putian Integrated Housing Co., Ltd. has undertaken nearly half of the orders required for the event, and is also a "prepared person".

Zhang Rutang, the person in charge of the company, pointed out that they, who were born in construction auxiliary products, gradually began to transform into steel structure projects.

In the past ten years, they have received a large number of non-standard orders, and thus accumulated experience in customized design based on customer needs.

As early as 2015, they cooperated with China Construction Group to build a mining camp covering an area of ​​about 35,000 square meters in eastern Kazakhstan, providing thousands of container houses with both thermal and thermal insulation functions.

Struggle for cost-effectiveness under sluggish consumption

  In the context of the global epidemic and economic stagflation, it is an indisputable fact that consumption is weak. However, in the pursuit of beauty, health and nature, market demand has risen instead of falling.

  Due to fewer opportunities to go out with makeup during the epidemic, people's demand for cosmetics has declined. Among them, lipstick has been hit the hardest, and the much-talked-about "lipstick index" has also lost attention.

However, beauty and accessories products such as eyelashes and nails that are not covered by masks are rising against the trend.

  On Ali International Station, the number of buyers of false eyelashes has increased by 71% year-on-year in the past three years, and the number of nail stickers has increased by 150% year-on-year.

In 2022, the number of buyers of false eyelashes will increase by 65% ​​year-on-year, and the transaction will increase by 24%; the number of buyers of nail stickers will increase by 70% year-on-year.

  "Our orders have maintained a growth rate of about 30% in recent years, and the growth rate of domestic sales and export orders this year will exceed previous years." Shanghai Huizi Cosmetics Co., Ltd., which manufactures export gel manicure (nail polish), is in charge People Guo Huiping told China Business News that in addition to consumers’ demand for fast manicures, the increase in export orders also comes from people’s increasing emphasis on health. “The driving force for market growth is that female consumers not only want beauty, but also better replacement and matching. , but also pursue health without damaging the nails. Gel manicure stickers can not only DIY manicures at home, are easy to remove, but are also safer and healthier than the methods commonly used in nail salons.”

  In addition to beauty and the pursuit of health, the hot sales of camping tents and leisure beekeeping equipment also reflect the new consumption trend of people returning to nature.

  Meng Shaowei, chairman of Henan Duotian Beekeeping Technology Co., Ltd., which exports beekeeping equipment, told China Business News that the company's orders have maintained a growth rate of more than 30% for four consecutive years, and exports accounted for about 80%.

Even in the first half of this year when the supply chain was blocked, the company still maintained a 30% growth.

The driving force behind it is the growth of the overseas market itself—recreational beekeeping is becoming a way for people to relax like fishing; it also has the impact of the background of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, for example, “Ukraine was originally a big supplier of beekeeping equipment , which gave them more opportunities.

  With the overall shrinking consumer demand, cost-effectiveness has become a more important consideration for orderers.

High cost performance has also become a key driver of the contrarian growth of these domestic consumer goods exports.

  Faced with the increase in orders and the still uncertain global market, Meng Shaowei's plan is to focus more on quality control and improve quality, and if the orders exceed their own production capacity, they will drive the surrounding factories to do it together.

At the same time, they are also speeding up the pace of "going out" amid the favorable policies of the "One Belt, One Road" and RCEP, opening up more diverse markets outside Europe, America and Australia, and planning to establish overseas warehouses in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, "whether it is Both developed and developing countries need cost-effective products.”

  Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of the Ministry of Commerce and vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, believes that the surge in certain categories such as new energy, heating equipment, and the World Cup has been affected to a certain extent by short-term accidental factors and popular events. However, in the long run, as companies pay more attention to digital technology and platforms and their operational capabilities continue to improve, their sensitivity and responsiveness to sudden demands in overseas markets will also increase significantly. With the resilience, response speed and Cost-effective, Chinese foreign traders are still expected to seize market dividends.

With the implementation of a series of high-level opening-up measures, my country's foreign trade will continue to grow.

Author: Miao Qi (Source: China Business News)