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Japan’s machine tool industry in 2021: production, orders, imports, exports (2/3)

May 19, 2022

The Japanese machine tool industry’s production, orders, and import/export results for 2021 have been compiled. According to the “Machinery Statistics” of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), machine tool production increased 23.7% from the previous year to 895,409 million yen. In addition, the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association (JMTBA) announced that the total amount of orders for 2021 increased by 70.9% over the previous year to 1,054.419 billion yen, a significant increase. This result was well above the 2019 level before the COVID-19 pandemic, but there was also a large gap between the amount of production and orders received.

The SEISANZAI Japan editorial team will explain the supply and demand performance of the Japanese machine tools industry in 2021 in three parts.


Click here for part 1 of this article “Production”

Click here for part 3 of this article “Export”


Foreign demand at second-highest level ever

According to JMTBA, total Japanese machine tool orders in 2021 increased 70.9% from the previous year 1,054.419 billion yen, exceeding 1 trillion yen for the first time in two years. Orders from China, which quickly recovered from the effects of the pandemic, were the first to revive, and from the second half of 2021, the recovery trend was also marked in Europe and North America, and also in Japan. As a result, total orders received exceeded 1.5 trillion yen, the fourth-highest level ever recorded.

On a monthly basis, single-month orders exceeded 100 billion yen in February and have not fallen below that level since.

Domestic demand increased 57.3% from the previous year to 510.324 billion yen, exceeding 500 billion yen for the first time in three years. The first half of 2022 was weak due to stagnant economic activity against the backdrop of the pandemic. However, orders recovered in the second half of the year, driven by subsidy government policies and the wider availability of corona vaccines.

From September onward, single-month orders kept exceeding 50 billion yen. All 11 major industries exceeded the level of the previous year.


Foreign demand increased significantly, rising 78.6% from the previous year to 1,031.095 billion yen, exceeding 1 trillion yen for the first time in three years and the second-highest order amount on the record. Orders in the three major regions of Asia, North America, and Europe all exceeded those of the previous year. Europe saw a 118.8% increase in orders to 210.697 billion yen, a significant increase from 2020. Among them, Italy showed the fastest growth with 41.717 billion yen, up 254.9% from the previous year.

(Editor: Takuya Saito)

Quarterly orders for foreign demand

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