Japanese manufacturer Komatsu reports a nearly 30% decline in use of its construction equipment in China last month, another sign that Chinese industry is slow to recover from the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported Caixin.
Average monthly operating time per unit sank to 32 hours in February, down from 44.9 hours a year earlier, data from the company’s Komtrax remote monitoring system shows. “The key will be how much of a recovery there is in March,” said Katsushi Saito of Nomura Securities.
The outbreak also has dented equipment sales. The period following Lunar New Year normally is busy for construction equipment makers in China, with 30% of annual demand coming in February.
But demand for mainstay hydraulic excavators in the 6-ton class and higher plunged 67% on the year last month, according to a Komatsu estimate that looked at non-Chinese manufacturers. Demand slid 35% in January, due partly to a shift in the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday.