NEWS BSRIA reports global air conditioning recovery A

r ecently published BSRIA m arket intelligence study has shown that the global air

conditioning market is in recovery. Large markets, such as the US, are growing above the global average, w hile the Chinese market is gaining m omentum. European markets

c ontinue to be in recovery and will be c hallenged by political and legislative issues in 2018.

The market is diversifying, with small splits becoming more of a commodity product, which means high levels of competition, although o pportunities are opening for new distribution channels. There has been a greater interest in mini VRF and water-based solutions, and a drive towards offering more solutions and s mart products at the commercial e nd. One of the key challenges over t he next few years for global air conditioning is the new refrigerants e ntering the market place. While the global market saw an overall drop in sales in 2016, primarily due to the

impact of the slowdown in China, a recovery has been recorded in 2017 t hat was better than previously f orecasted. This was mainly due to a b oost in the Chinese market caused b y a hot summer and a focus on an u pgrading of air conditioning units, for example, with intelligent solutions such as Wi-Fi.

BSRIA expects the global year-end s ales to reach 137 million units and a value of just over USD 102 billion, w ith packaged products accounting for 85% by value.

The market is becoming very competitive and Chinese brands operating outside China, which have traditionally operated as OEM suppliers, are keen to develop their b rands. The downturn in sales in China in recent years has meant that the Chinese suppliers have

increasingly been looking for overseas opportunities to shift stock.

I n the USA, the mature market has experienced good growth boosted by hot summers, a positive economy

and construction activities. The Asia Pacific region continues to account for the largest share with 58% of global value. Europe is relatively smal l as a sales region, accounting for 7% by volume and 11% by value globally, and is only slowly recovering. A highly volatile market, global s ales by volume increased by 11% i n 2017, dependent on short term w eather patterns. The biggest increase was seen in Asia Pacific, with sales in Australia increasing significantly following a hot summer w hich was seen in all regions, not just t he eastern board.

T he global market for windows

dropped marginally in 2017, totalling around 11.8 million units. It is losing favour to high wall single splits. Bucking the downward trend in m arket volume was the USA, which saw an increase in volume by 3% to 7 .3 million units.

VRF continues to do well and is

expected to reach global sales of just under two million outdoor units in

2017, an increase of over 25% from 2016

Overall double digit growth is

expected to continue over the next few years, apart from in Europe which is now a fairly mature market. BSRIA is seeing a trend towards more mini V RF as well as some water-cooled VRF going into high-end residential applications, although the capital costs of water-cooled VRF are still v iewed as very high. In terms of o utdoor units, Europe accounts for j ust under 10% of global sales or 180,000 units. Turkey is the biggest market, followed by France, Italy and the UK.

China continues to dominate the global VRF market, accounting for 65% of volume sales, with units p opular in both the residential and commercial markets. In particular, mini VRF are expected to continue to s ee a positive growth rate in China as the middle classes are looking to replace conventional splits with mini VRF units.

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