^ The Heat Exchanger Team (left) with one of the local heat exchanger suppliers after the interview.

Article By Laura Wang, Heat Exchanger World Shanghai Office 

About the event

The crowded exhibition hall
The crowded exhibition hall. Visitors queue up and prepare their health QR code before entering. Image source: China Refrigeration. Image source: China Refrigeration

China Refrigeration 2021 is also known as the 32nd International Exhibition for Refrigeration, Air-conditioning, Heating and Ventilation, Frozen Food Processing, Packing and storage. The show aims to cover the complete industrial chains, and works to build an international platform for players home and abroad to communicate and seek out business opportunities.

As officially reported, nearly 1200 companies participated in the 2021 event, as well as debuts of hundreds of new products, technologies, and services. With the successful control of COVID-19 in the China area, the three-day exhibition has attracted 63,000 visitors and buyers. All expo participants were required to take temperature checks and show a health QR code before entering the 10 exhibition halls.

Huge Chinese Market

The Chinese heat exchanger market started relatively late, in the 1960s, but has been maintaining a fast and sustained growth. Even when compared to oil & gas or other chemical industries, we found more heating and ventilation suppliers exhibited in the show. Most exhibitors told us that the domestic demand is now threatening to outstrip supply, leaving companies with great business opportunities, as well as fierce competition.
Actually, the Chinese economy has become deeply integrated into the global economy. Rising domestic demand in China will not only drive its own development, but also present great opportunity for foreign investment, products, and services.
On the other hand, with the continuous expansion of application fields, there is increasing demand for product functions featuring diversification, high efficiency, and energy conservation. The China Refrigeration 2021 also focused on ‘peak carbon dioxide emissions’ and ‘carbon neutral’, which are also the strategic goals of the Chinese government. We saw many press releases, new products and sub forums were given under these hot topics. It is predictable that the Chinese heat exchanger market will spare more space to the clean and the green energy.
Meanwhile, high-tech products will account for more of the market than before, and an increasing number of competitors are about to come and go, bringing more possibilities to the China market.

High-Tech Products Export Competitiveness

During the exhibition, we interviewed a couple of excellent Chinese enterprises who have also achieved impressive performance among the international arenas. One of these companies, a well-known local supplier of energy-efficient and eco-friendly technologies, equipment and products, noted “Price war is not a sustainable option for the international market, we must come up with the competitive edge of sci-tech innovation.”
Highlighting the unique advantages in equipment strength, another interviewee, a local producer of titanium and heat exchanger tubes shared with us, “China has developed quite strong capability in equipment design and tailor-made service. In addition to this, material and technique have also undergone fast development in recent years which makes more and more Chinese product an emerging star in the global market.”

An Excellent Starting Point

China’s heat exchanger industry is mainly concentrated in petroleum, chemical, metallurgy, electric power, shipbuilding, central heating, and other fields. Among them, petroleum and chemical industries are the most important application fields of heat exchangers, accounting for about 30% of the market share, and is still on the rise. Featuring heating and ventilation, our visit to China Refrigeration 2021 may not fully represent the status quo of the Chinese heat exchanger industry and market.
But we take it as a starting point to further develop opportunities and build connections for suppliers and users all over the world.

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