China industrial refrigeration compressor market will retain buoyant in 2021November 2021

As part of BSRIA China’s regular research into monitoring of the Chinese refrigeration market, the study gave insight into the industrial compressor market focusing on open drive reciprocating and compressors and centrifugal compressors, mainly used in the petrochemical industry, food processing and cold storage. Open drive reciprocating compressors are mainly used for low-end cold storages and especially for fishing vessel refrigeration and as a replacement market. Open screw compressor is the leading product in the field of industrial refrigeration, due to its excellent performance in medium and low temperature applications and is also seeing the highest growth rate of around 12% whereas the market for reciprocating sawn a slight decline.

Sales volume of industrial refrigeration compressors in China, by type, 2017-2021

The market for centrifugal compressors used for industrial refrigeration is still a niche market. Their working condition is quite similar to air conditioning and used for special applications, such as petrochemical and military industries which require large cooling capacities but don’t need very low temperatures. The rotational speed of centrifugal compressors is very fast, which requires high processing technology and the capital costs are high. As a result, many clients tend to choose alternative solutions, such as multiple screw compressors instead. The number of practical applications using centrifugal compressors are limited. Moreover, the threshold of centrifugal compressor industry is relatively high with few enterprises mastering the core technology, which slowed down the speed of promoting its application in industrial refrigeration.

The concentration ratio in the industrial refrigeration market is quite high and the competitive landscape relatively stable, but can swing depending on contracts won in any given year. The key leading companies in the Chinese Industrial refrigeration market areMoon-Tech (initially known as Yan Leng), Bingshan Refrigeration & Heat Transfer Technologies (previously named Dalian Refrigeration), Johnson Controls-York and Snowman Group. They take a share of about 70% and the rest market are occupied by other medium and small brands. Each of these top four brands has its own advantages: Moon-Tech took the largest share in China’s R717+CO2 open screw compressor market; Bingshan Refrigeration & Heat Transfer Technologies gained most of the shares from the field of fishing vessel refrigeration; Johnson Controls-York has distinct advantages in the petrochemical industry, especially in high-end projects. The Snowman Group is expanding its market share in renovation projects of petrochemical industry with relatively cost-effective products.

China industrial refrigeration compressor market is expected to maintain rapid growth in 2021, mainly driven by the fast expansion of the open screw compressor market. The demand of industrial refrigeration compressors from the petrochemical industry retains quite stable. The increment of the open screw compressor market mainly comes from the fields of food processing and cold storage. With a population of 1.4 billion, China is the second largest consumption market in the world and is seeing a rapid consumption upgrade and the cold chain logistics industry has been developing very fast. With an increase in the quality of life, the demand for different kinds of meat, fish and shellfish and frozen food like fish balls and shrimp balls has significantly increased. Consequently, the number of industrial refrigeration compressors used for food processing (such as quick-freezing equipment) and cold storage is expected to increase in line with the demand. 

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