According to the actual production status for rubbers and resin conveyor belts in 2015 Japan Belt Manufacturing Association announced, the annual production volume for rubber belts (quantity of new rubbers) was 28,470 tons, decreased by 6% compared to the same period of last year for 2 continuous years, dipping below 30,000 tons mark for the first time in 5 years.
While domestic demand progressed relatively steadily in conveyor belts, transmission belts slowed down throughout the year due to continuous decrease in automobile production. As a result, the combined production volume was 20,870 tons, decreased by 3% compared to the same period of last year.
For export, performance toward resource countries continued to decline and thus couldn’t stop exporting conveyor belts continue going down. Transmission belts also kept declining throughout the year as local procurement keeps its steady grow. As a result, the production volume became 7,601 tons, decreased by 15%, falling below 70% level compared to the actual performance 2 years ago.
By description, domestic demand for conveyor belts gained upward momentum from public project increase such as city redevelopments and infrastructure related construction. As a result, it reached 10,691 tons, an increase of 2% compared to the same period of last year.
As for conveyor belts, export demand in coal producing countries namely Australia continues to hover around, thus resulted in 6,115 tons, decreased by 15% compared to the same period of last year. Due to decline in exports, conveyor belts in total resulted in 16,805 tons, decreased by 5% compared to the same period of last year.
For transmission belts, demands for automobiles, which account for the half of the demand, had a downward trend due to overseas production shifts and production hike in HV cars. Furthermore, the total order amount for machine tools, which had been remaining strong, started to slow down towards the second half of the year. Overall, it was affected negatively as demand environment got worsen. Domestic demand was 10,179 tons, decrease by 7%, and export was 1,486 tons, decreased by 14%. Thus the combined total resulted in 11,665 tons, decreased by 8% compared to the same period of last year.
The transmission belts breaks down is as follows; for toothed belts, domestic demand decreased by 9%, and export demand decreased by 1%, resulting in 7% decrease in total compared to the same period of last year. For V belts which get affected by mechanical changes such as downsizing or electrification, domestic demand decreased by 7%, and export demand also decreased by 22%, resulting in 8% decrease in total compared to the same period of last year. For other belts, domestic demand decreased by 3% and export demand increased by 9%, resulting in 5% decrease in total compared to the same period of last year.
The production volume of rubber belts in December by itself was 2,110 tons in total, decreased by 19% compared to the same period of last year thus showed a decrease for 3 months in a row. Domestic demand was 1,586 tons, decreased by 2%, thus showed decline from the increase in the previous month. Export was 524 tons, decreased by 47% thus showed a decrease for 3 months in a row.
By description, conveyor belts in total were 1,231 tons, decreased by 25% compared to the same period of last year. Of these, domestic demand increased by 2% and export decreased by 52%. Transmission belts in total were 878 tons, decreased by 7%. Of these, domestic demand decreased by 6% and export decreased by 17% compared to the same period of last year. The detailed breakdown is as follows: toothed belts decreased by 5%, V fan belts decreased by 6%, and other belts decreased by 26%.
As for resin conveyor belts result throughout 2015, overall production amount was 1,030,530㎡, unchanged compared to the same period of last year. Shipment value was also unchanged and resulted at 11 billion 708 million 340,000 yen.
While the demand was expected to increase significantly due to continuous increase in new expansions in distribution centers continuing from the previous year, large demands didn’t grow as expected. Further, due to the sudden rise in imported raw material prices caused by weak yen, small and medium-sized customers were reluctant to buy for cost savings thus caused slump in demand.
By material, PVC was 186,585㎡ increased by 1%, polyurethane was 694,664㎡ decreased by 2%, and other materials were 149,281㎡ increased by 10% compared to the same period of last year.