Will instrument imports to China rise in 2023? Industry eyes Music China for answers
Since reaching an 11-month low in January this year, musical instrument imports have been steadily recovering to a 21% rise in July compared to the beginning of 2023, with categories such as wind instruments even posting a record high in H1. As the world’s largest trade fair for the industry, attention is now turning to Music China, where participants from more than 40 countries and regions will congregate to strike new deals in October, for signals about momentum in the second half of 2023 and beyond.
“As the world’s largest market by revenue, interest among overseas suppliers in the Chinese market is always high,” says Ms Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd. “Although imports so far this year have been lower in US dollar terms, their value in RMB actually set a new record in the first half of 2023. This should instil confidence in the world’s largest market, especially for overseas exhibitors – because it shows that spending has remained resilient.”
While this year’s lower USD import value can be attributed to the depreciation of the RMB over the past nine months, with Music China on the horizon, there is good reason to anticipate a rise in sales moving forward. “The second half of the year typically always sees stronger performance due to back to school purchasing and business events such as Music China – the world’s largest event for the industry, with more than 1,800 exhibitors taking part in this edition,” explains Ms Cheung.
Further optimism comes from acknowledging China’s position as the world’s largest manufacturing hub for musical instruments. According to Ms Cheung, this is crucial for interpreting import statistics. “For major foreign brands, particularly key players with production facilities inside of China, the import data does not accurately reflect their true domestic sales growth.” In this respect, domestic sales forecasts paint a positive picture, with total revenue expected to reach USD 9.25 billion in 2023.
 China customs data, http://english.customs.gov.cn/Statistics/Statistics?ColumnId=1
 ‘Music instruments – China’, Statista. https://www.statista.com/outlook/cmo/toys-hobby/musical-instruments/china. Retrieved: August 2023.
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