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Out of Asia: Promise from Pandemic of a Manufacturing Renaissance in North America (Part 1)


Out of Asia: Promise from Pandemic of a Manufacturing Renaissance in North America (Part 1)

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of supply chains on which nearly half of the population relies on for life-saving medication. Countries have enforced restrictions on the flow of essential medical supplies in a bid to save their own populations. States competed with the Federal government for ventilators in the market, paying multiples of the devices’ usual prices. Doctors, working in painfully under-supplied hospitals, folded plastic sheets to make their own protective masks. Many U.S. hospitals have had to connect multiple patients to devices meant to sustain the life of one. Hospital doctors and administrators have already been asked to decide who should live and who should die.

Understanding the need to transform the current supply chain, the following is the first part in a three-part series that examines how the promise from the COVID-19 pandemic is a manufacturing renaissance in North America. This first installment will lay the groundwork for understanding the current deficiencies within the supply chain and then pivot to explore the dangers of over-reliance on foreign exporters and what challenges U.S. companies are continuing to face in China.

The Current State of the Pandemic Supply Chain

It is late March 2020. In New York’s Presbyterian hospital, doctors are wrangling to accomplish something that “hasn’t really ever been done before,” at least not according to Dr. Jeremy Beitler, a pulmonary disease specialist. The hospital, one of the world’s largest, is affiliated with two Ivy League institutions and routinely ranks as one of the top five health centers in the U.S. Inside its contemporary art-clad walls doctors are connecting two people to a ventilator designed to sustain a single set of lungs. The process, which had been only tested in animals before, carries with it a host of risks because sharing does not double ventilator access, and many victims need their own device. Moreover, the two patients need different volume and pressure levels, – which means that often one or both cases are kept in sub-optimal settings.

Professionals, including the editor in chief of the journal Respiratory Care, have warned against ventilator sharing, arguing that “the time to try an untested treatment not previously used in humans is not amid a pandemic.” For the doctors in charge of triage at New York’s Presbyterian, however, the other option was death. As Dr. Charlene Babcock, an emergency doctor in Detroit puts it: “If it was me, and I had four patients, and they all need intubation, and I only had one ventilator, I would simply have a shared discussion meeting with all four families and say, ‘I can pick one to live, or we can try to have all four live.’”

This technique has now expanded across the country, as state governments fought to outbid each other to purchase one of the few ventilators left in the market. The machines went to the highest bidder. It has been four months since that day in March, but the situation that led doctors to attempt an untested off-label procedure in one of New York’s top hospitals stems from issues that run much deeper.

Foreign companies made close to 50% of the intensive-care ventilators in the U.S., where at the time, there were fewer than 12 manufacturers with the capabilities to produce them. As the COVID-19 pandemic advanced, even these U.S. manufacturers found it impossible to sharply increase their supply since the hundreds of parts that make up these complex devices were sold by companies across the world. It would take at least eight months for St. Louis-based Allied Healthcare Products to revamp its supply chain and meet the rising demand, according to the New York Times. In less than seven months, there have been close to 150,000 reported COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

This fragile state of U.S. healthcare supply was exposed by an inadequate manufacturing base that had been deteriorating for years. The toll of COVID-19 has revived efforts to overhaul the capabilities of manufacturers in the U.S. – an issue that had been dormant for decades, as manufacturers moved to jurisdictions outside the U.S., principally to Asian countries in pursuit of lower costs. Just last week, newspapers heralded the “end of an era” in U.S. manufacturing as Intel, the largest chipmaker in the country, announced it was finally considering outsourcing its production to Taiwan and South Korea. This policy was embraced by Intel’s competitors but shunned by the Silicon Valley giant for decades.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an unprecedented new consciousness among the U.S. business elite of the potential risk of over-reliance on a supply chain substantially based in Asia. This new consciousness, in the midst of the pressure of COVID-19 on supply chains, the rising public support for economic rescue measures, and the recent signing of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) can collectively act to usher in an era of renewed manufacturing in North America.

The USMCA buttresses the free market access among the three North American economies and ensures U.S. producers access to low-cost labor in Mexico. Importantly, it locks in Mexico’s 2013 energy reform, which allows foreign companies to invest in the country’s energy sector and eliminates barriers to trade in energy commodities. Together, these provisions pave the way for more fully integrating the cost­-competitive production base in Mexico with the technical know-how of U.S. manufacturers – a combination with the potential to shift the manufacturing center of gravity out of Asia.

Dangers of Overreliance

Heavily relying on a global supply chain for crucial products is costly. COVID-19 has underlined the dangers of relying on China and other foreign nations for essential supplies and compounded the anti-globalist sentiment that had been developing in the U.S. in the last few years. Close to 68% of Americans surveyed by Pew Research Center supported trade and growing business ties with foreign countries in 2014. In contrast, only 47% said globalization was good for the United States in May of this year.

The U.S. imported close to $472 billion from China in 2019, down from $559 billion in 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). In absolute terms, the most significant component of these imports is consumer products, followed by capital and industrial goods. In relative terms, however, electronics and pharmaceuticals are the sectors on which the U.S. is arguably most dependent on China. In 2019, the U.S. imported close to 70% of its consumer electronics from China. Mexico, Korea, and Vietnam: the next three largest contributors, together, accounted for 19%.  The extent of this dependence is underscored by executives in the auto industry, who told The Wall Street Journal that “they could run out of certain parts used in U.S. factories in coming weeks, with particular concern over potential shortages of electronic components,” as the pandemic forced Chinese factories to temporarily close their doors in February.

Emergent consciousness of the U.S.’s lack of self-sufficiency is perhaps most starkly obvious in the healthcare sector. According to consulting firm A.T. Kearney, close to 70% of protective masks in the U.S. are made in China, as well as 80% of the country’s antibiotic supply – including 95% of ibuprofen and 91% of hydrocortisone. Moreover, some widely used blood-pressure medications and antibiotics are no longer produced in the U.S. at all, and experts warn that China is the only known producer of certain key ingredients in antibiotics used to treat diseases like pneumonia. As of April 2020, 79 countries had imposed export bans or restrictions on essential medications and medical supplies to the U.S. market. India alone banned exports of 26 critical active pharmaceutical ingredients. The resulting undersupply in the U.S. may have already endangered national health. In the U.S., roughly half of the population is dependent on prescription drugs, and the majority use over-the-counter medicines on a regular basis.

Building manufacturing expertise in critical sectors such as healthcare as soon as possible should be a strategic policy goal. Unlike other industries, manufacturing pharmaceuticals requires knowledge and capacity that cannot be built in the short term. According to A.T. Kearney, some types of ventilators and antiseptics are among the easiest products to utilize cross-industry capacity to produce. This, of course, contrasts with the critically low supply of ventilators described above, and the government’s unsuccessful 13-year attempt to shore up that supply. Moreover, even if companies could be outfitted to assemble these complicated machines in the short term, replacing the global supply chain of parts may take much longer.

COVID-19 is testing supply chains across the whole economy. According to A.T. Kearney, close to 82% of companies surveyed indicate the pandemic has profoundly disrupted their supply chain. In comparison, only 5% of U.S. manufacturers indicate the disruption has been minimal. Similarly, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Company, material shortages were the top COVID-19 operational challenge for corporations, with close to 45% of respondents agreeing. This option comes ahead of drops in demand (41%) and cash-flow issues (22%). McKinsey indicated advanced industry, including auto-manufacturing, was the sector most affected by the supply shock, “primarily due to interconnected supply chains spanning multiple geographies.”

The U.S.’s reliance on Chinese imports contrasts with China’s self-sufficiency. According to the United Nations Comtrade data compiled by Goldman Sachs, the only segment where China acquires more than 50% of its imports from the U.S. is in aircraft (63%). Moreover, the only sectors where China imports more than a third from the U.S. are seeds and agricultural products.

U.S. Companies in China Face New Challenges

The current crisis brought into public view the dangers of depending on other countries for essential products. Discontent among U.S. companies operating in China, however, had been developing for months. Several companies now indicate they are ready to reshore out of Asia. In the most recent survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in China (“Chamber”), close to 9% of member companies have already started relocating out of China, and an additional 8% are thinking about doing so. In the resource and industrial (R&I) sector, a full quarter of respondents indicated they are already relocating or considering doing so – the highest proportion across industries. For some producers, remaining in China does not make commercial sense anymore. According to Lei Wang et al., for example, it is already cheaper to produce metal and oil products in the U. S. after the U.S. imposed 25% tariffs on Chinese products.

“An uncertain policy environment, rising costs [in China] and U.S. tariffs are the top three factors influencing relocation considerations,” according to AmCham China. Close to 45% of companies relocating or thinking about doing so cited an uncertain policy environment as one of the top three reasons to relocate in 2019 (up from 9% in 2018). Similarly, 40% cited rising costs, including labor costs (up from 17% in 2018), while 38% pointed to U.S. tariffs on products exported from China.

Companies that are delaying or canceling investments in China cite similar worries. About 37% of firms surveyed by the Chamber, the largest proportion since 2013, indicate they are delaying additional investments in 2020 or looking to reduce their footprint in China. This trend is even more pronounced in the R&I sector, where 43% indicate they will not invest further in the country in 2020. This group of companies also point to the tense U.S.-China bilateral relationships as the most significant barrier to investment, followed by expectations of a slowing Chinese market, rising labor costs,  and uncertain local regulations.

Among the most longstanding concerns of U.S. firms in China are intellectual property (IP) protection and technological sharing. AmCham China suggests this is a lesser concern among firms than it was in past years, and that protections are improving. Close to 69% of U.S. firms surveyed indicated in 2019 that IP enforcement had improved over the past five years – with only 2% reporting that it has deteriorated. Similarly, the percentage of firms that indicated the risk of IP/data security leakage is higher in China dropped 10 percentile points year-on-year to 44% in 2019.

Despite the reported improvements, a significant portion of U.S. companies are still dissatisfied with the state of IP protection. Intellectual property and data leakages are still the second most cited barrier to increasing investment in China (38% of respondents), behind transparency and fairness of the regulatory environment. It is important to note, however, that industries differ widely about their uneasiness with IP protections. Within the technology sector, 49% of companies indicated that IP protections remain an obstacle to additional investment. R&I corporations are not far behind, with 48% reporting IP as a hurdle to investment.

Few empirical studies have examined China’s IP litigation outcomes, in part because the relevant data became available only after 2014. The longstanding notion among U.S. commentators is that the Chinese system systemically discriminates against foreign patent plaintiffs and that this phenomenon is more pronounced outside of large coastal cities. Gaétan Rassenfosse et al. supports this thesis in a paper that looks at how foreign IP litigants are treated by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) in the context of patent applications declared as standard essential to 3G and 4G LTE technology. Based on this subset of cases, the study finds that foreign applicants’ patents are granted between 8.8-9.3% less often than Chinese applicants’ patents and that it takes between 8.5 to 12.6 months longer for foreign applicants to obtain patents than for their Chinese counterparts. Some other scholars, however, have recently challenged the discrimination hypothesis advanced by Rassenfosse.

Regardless of their reasons for discontent, one thing is clear: U.S. firms are making less in China – a trend many industry leaders expect to continue. More than a fifth of respondents indicated that they experienced yearly revenue drops in 2019, up from only 12% in 2017. This drop was even more striking within the R&I group – in which 30% experienced sales declines, and an additional 36% remained flat. Companies in this sector were also the least optimistic about 2020, with close to 40% of firms surveyed not expecting their market to grow this year. Profitability across industries has also plunged to historic lows, with 38% of companies indicating they recorded losses or broke even.

U.S. Investment in China has Steadily Declined

Foreign direct investment (“FDI”) and bilateral trade data also support this reshoring narrative. According to research provider Rhodium Group, U.S. foreign direct investment in China rose to $14 billion in 2019, up from $13 billion in 2018. This number, however, does not tell the whole story. The uptick in investment was mostly driven by projects that had been in the works since at least 2018, including Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai. In contrast, the value of newly commenced (greenfield) projects declined from $2.4 billion in 2018 to $1.4 billion in 2019,  supported by an expansion of GM’s Chinese joint venture. U.S. FDI in China has been falling since approximately 2012 in many industries. For instance, between 2005 and 2011, U.S. firms channeled roughly $1.27 billion per year into machinery. In contrast, they only invested $104 million per year on average in that sector between 2018 and 2019. Likewise, investment in basic materials was $1.84 billion per year on average between 2005 and 2011, but only $321 million between 2018 and 2019.

As U.S. companies have moderated their investments in China, the U.S. has also reduced its imports form the Asian nation, partly as a response to new U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Imports of manufactured goods from low-cost Asian countries (“LCA”) into the U. S. dropped for the first time since 2016 in 2019– recording a decline of 7.2% to $757 billion. Last year also marks the first-time imports from LCAs fell as a percentage of domestic manufacturing output since 2011. This contraction has mainly concentrated in China, where exports to the U.S. slid 17% between 2018 and 2019 to $90 billion. This trend has continued into the first few months of 2020. Imports of goods from China fell 29% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, according to the BEA. Imports of consumer goods from that country shrank by close to 30%, while those of vehicles and automotive components, industrial supplies, and other capital goods diminished between 20% and 30%. This decline has been partially offset by a $31 billion expansion in imports from other LCAs. In particular, 46% of this amount was absorbed by Vietnam, which is also a popular choice for Chinese businesses looking to cut costs. After this shift, China accounted for 56% of U.S. manufacturing imports from LCA’s, down from 67% in 2013.


From Exports to Delivery: Simplifying PPE Shipping

From small businesses to large corporations, many are navigating the complex world of importing personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees, family members, and customers as businesses reopen across the globe.

Whether you have navigated these waters before or are new to importing PPE, COVID-19 has changed the game. In response to the changing environment, our team of experts at C.H. Robinson put together information on four key subjects that will help your PPE supply chain run smoother during a time when simplicity is what you need most.

Exporting PPE from China

Over the past several months, China has been the main source for PPE. So, it’s important you’re up to date on the latest regulations to avoid your freight being held up.

China has recently implemented three key policies that relate to PPE exporting.

-Policy 5 requires all medical supplies to meet quality standards of the importing countries, this policy also separated out the process for medical-grade and non-medical-use devices.

-Policy 53 increases CIQ inspection on all PPE products, labels, packaging, and documentation.

-Policy 12 created a white and blacklist of manufacturers and suppliers.

While China’s new policies offer tighter control on PPE being exported, they also have created a dedicated HS-code for PPE products to simplify export declarations.

For a closer look at how China’s regulations impact PPE shipping, check out our recent PPE exporting video featuring our director of product development, Vincent Wong.

U.S. and Canada customs best practices

The next key subject to address is importing PPE into the United States and/or Canada. It’s important you understand various government agency requirements and determine which ones apply depending on whether the PPE is for general or medical use. From there, other factors like labeling, packaging, and marketing of the product can influence these regulations as well.

Importing PPE into the United States

Depending on the PPE commodity you are importing, there can be multiple U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements to navigate. And due to the nature of the shipping industry, these regulations can change quickly—especially for medical grade equipment.

Importing PPE into Canada

While importing into Canada has some similarities—like changing regulations—there are some clear differences to be aware of as well. It’s important to note that while intended use, labeling, packaging, and advertising can be used to determine medical vs. general use in Canada, this is ultimately determined by the Canadian inspectors.

Whether you are importing PPE into the U.S. or Canada, make certain to watch our video on customs best practices with Ben Bidwell, director of North America customs and compliance, in order to better understand requirements, expectations and regulations for PPE.

Metered freight solutions

In this environment, we’re seeing companies turn to air freight to move their personal protective equipment quickly. However, when the demand for passenger travel plummeted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a dramatic reduction in cargo capacity followed. As you might imagine, this has drastically changed normal market conditions for air shipping.

While delivering all your PPE as fast as possible via air might seem like your only option, solutions like freight metering, which utilizes both air and ocean, can also meet your needs while providing cost-savings.

Ask yourself:

-How much of our PPE do we really need to fly?

-How much of that is safety stock?

-What’s the end user consumption rate?

-What’s the output rate at the factory?

Answers to these questions and cross-functional conversations that include purchasers, factory contacts, logistics providers, and end users can reveal that only a portion of your purchase order (PO) should fly and a balance of it should ship as ocean freight.

The key to metering your freight is to choose air freight for just enough of your order to match your end-users’ consumption rate. As ocean freight catches up, it can significantly reduce your freight spend.

Looking for more benefits of a metered air and ocean shipping solution for critical PPE orders? Watch our metered freight solutions video, featuring Bogen Chi, director of air freight.

FCL and LCL expedited ocean shipping

Lastly, we understand your need to continue moving your PPE cargo as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Utilizing expedited less than container load (LCL) or full container load (FCL) shipping could be the differentiator you need. In fact, depending on your PPE’s delivery city, C.H. Robinson’s expedited LCL services can cut traditional LCL transit time by 4 to 14 days and keep your costs nearly 80% lower than air freight services.

Watch our expedited ocean shipping video with Ali Ashraf and Greg Scott to explore if this smart transportation solution is right for your supply chain.

In conclusion

Personal protective equipment has become an extremely important and in-demand commodity as we face COVID-19. So, whether you’re looking to import PPE for the first time or as part of your normal procurement process, C.H. Robinson’s experts can help you build a more resilient supply chain when shipping PPE around the globe. As the market continues to change, our global suite of service offerings and market expertise remains available to help your PPE supply chain. We’re here to help today so you can have a better PPE process tomorrow.

hydrogen peroxide

Global Hydrogen Peroxide Market – India ($55M), Germany ($54M), and the U.S. ($48M) are the Most Promising Overseas Markets

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Hydrogen Peroxide – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The global hydrogen peroxide market revenue amounted to $3.2B in 2018, going up by 8% against the previous year. The market value increased at an average annual rate of +2.5% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations over the period under review. The global hydrogen peroxide consumption peaked in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the near future.

Imports 2007-2018

In value terms, hydrogen peroxide imports totaled $823M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +2.7% from 2007 to 2018.

Imports by Country

In 2018, Germany (153K tonnes), followed by Italy (100K tonnes), the U.S. (91K tonnes), India (88K tonnes) and Russia (87K tonnes) represented the major importers of hydrogen peroxide, together comprising 30% of total imports. The following importers – France (70K tonnes), the Netherlands (65K tonnes), Austria (62K tonnes), Taiwan (61K tonnes), Chile (47K tonnes), Mexico (47K tonnes) and Belgium (45K tonnes) – together made up 23% of total imports.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Italy, while imports for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, India ($55M), Germany ($54M) and the U.S. ($48M) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2018, with a combined 19% share of global imports.

Import Prices by Country

The average hydrogen peroxide import price stood at $483 per tonne in 2018, picking up by 4.2% against the previous year. In general, the hydrogen peroxide import price, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2008 when the average import price increased by 5.7% year-to-year. In that year, the average import prices for hydrogen peroxide reached their peak level of $535 per tonne. From 2009 to 2018, the growth in terms of the average import prices for hydrogen peroxide remained at a somewhat lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was India ($619 per tonne), while Austria ($315 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by India, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

trade protectionism

Trade Protectionism Won’t Help Fight COVID-19

Countries around the world are limiting international trade and turning inward, seeking to produce nearly everything — especially medical supplies — themselves.

The Trump administration, for instance, is considering a “Buy American” executive order that would require federal agencies to purchase domestically made masks, ventilators, and medicines. And over two dozen countries — including France, Germany, South Korea, and Taiwan — have banned domestic companies from exporting medical supplies.

The scramble for self-sufficiency in medical supplies and medicines needed to fight the coronavirus is make-believe. It is neither feasible nor desirable, and will only deepen the pain felt amidst this pandemic.

Governments around the world have responded to COVID-19 by imposing export restrictions on things like ventilators and masks. In mid-April, Syria became the 76th country to follow suit. The import side of things isn’t much better. The World Trade Organization (WTO) reports that tariffs remain stubbornly high on protective medical gear, averaging 11.5 percent across the 164 members of the Geneva-based institution, and peaking at just under 30 percent.

This is no way to fight a pandemic.

It’s not that COVID-19 caused this bout of trade protectionism. It’s just that COVID-19 offers up a useful narrative to promote trade protectionism.

The Trump administration, for instance, has been touting its “Buy American” executive order as a move to spur local manufacturing. Canada has also considered going it alone in ventilators and masks, but recently acknowledged it can’t possibly achieve self-sufficiency in medicines. No one can.

The way many governments see it, the only thing standing in the way of greater self-reliance in medical equipment and medicines is the will to pay for it. The story is that ventilators might be more expensive if made domestically, but that’s the cost of going it alone. It’s only a matter of getting Bauer and Brooks Brothers, for example, to make personal protective equipment, rather than hockey gear and clothing.

But there’s a reason Bauer makes skates instead of surgical masks. It’s better at it, and skates are a much more lucrative business. Bauer didn’t misread the market. It’s heartwarming to hear that Bauer is stepping in to help out, but the company knows that making surgical masks in the US is five times more expensive than making them in China. That’s why 95 percent of the surgical masks in the US are imported.

The absurdity of self-sufficiency in medicines is even more glaring. The US is a major exporter of medicines, but the raw chemicals used to make them are imported. Nearly three-quarters of the facilities that manufacture America’s “active pharmaceutical ingredients” are overseas. To reorient supply chains to produce these ingredients domestically would take up to 10 years and cost $2 billion for each new facility.  Consumers would pay at least 30 percent more at the pharmacy.

The last plug for self-sufficiency in medical equipment and medicines is that it’s not a good idea to depend on adversaries to keep us healthy. We don’t. What’s striking about medicines, medical equipment, and personal protective products is that market share is highly concentrated among allies. For example, Germany, the US, and Switzerland supply 35 percent of medical products sold worldwide. True, China leads the top ten list of personal protective products, at 17 percent market share, but the other nine, including the US at number three, are all longstanding allies. To be sure, the untold story of China is that it depends on Germany and the United States for nearly 40 percent of its medical products.

This past week, the WTO and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called for an end to the folly of trade restrictions during this pandemic. The communique should have — but obviously couldn’t — call out governments around the world for maintaining, on average, a 17 percent tariff on soap. That tariffs on face masks average nearly 10 percent is baffling. That 20 countries in the WTO have no legal ceiling on the tariffs they impose on medicines is unforgivable.

Self-sufficiency in medical supplies and medicines is a political sop. It’s a narrative that can’t deliver anything but misery. If governments want to fight COVID-19, they should spend more time looking at how they’re denying themselves access to medical necessities, and less time on how to deny others the tools to save lives.


Marc L. Busch is the Karl F. Landegger professor of international business diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council.


Global Needles And Catheters Market 2020 – Key Insights

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Needles, Catheters, Cannulae For Medicine – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The global needles and catheters market size reached $32.4B in 2018, picking up by 7.3% against the previous year. The market value increased at an average annual rate of +4.8% from 2009 to 2018. Over the period under review, the global needles and catheters market reached its peak figure level in 2018 and is likely to see steady growth in the near future.

Global Trade of Needles And Catheters 2009-2018

In value terms, needles and catheters exports totaled $32B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, the total exports indicated a remarkable increase from 2009 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +2.4% over the last decade. Based on 2018 figures, needles and catheters exports increased by +28.1% against 2016 indices. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2012 when exports increased by 18% y-o-y.

Exports by Country

In value terms, the U.S. ($7.1B), the Netherlands ($4.4B) and Ireland ($3.9B) constituted the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2018, together comprising 48% of global exports. These countries were followed by Mexico, Germany, Belgium, Costa Rica, China, Malaysia, the UK, Hungary and Poland, which together accounted for a further 36%.

Hungary experienced the highest rates of growth with regard to the value of exports, among the main exporting countries over the period under review, while exports for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports by Country

The largest needles and catheters importing markets worldwide were the U.S. ($5.4B), the Netherlands ($3.4B) and Germany ($2.3B), with a combined 39% share of global imports. These countries were followed by Japan, China, Belgium, France, the UK, Italy, Mexico, Spain and South Korea, which together accounted for a further 33%.

In terms of the main importing countries, China experienced the highest growth rate of the value of imports, over the period under review, while imports for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the average needles and catheters import price amounted to $54,311 per tonne, jumping by 2.8% against the previous year. Over the period from 2009 to 2018, it increased at an average annual rate of +1.0%. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2016 when the average import price increased by 67% against the previous year. The global import price peaked in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was the Netherlands ($149,780 per tonne), while South Korea ($33,777 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2009 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by the Netherlands, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform