The hydronic heating market in China is partly sustained by the Coal to Gas policy, and this part of the market recovered as soon as the pandemic became controlled and almost all projects have been carried out as previously planned. Similarly, the real estate market has recovered very fast and the pre-decoration policy is enforced widely. Thus, the project market for wall-hung boilers develops well in 2020 and is likely to keep up with last year's sales volume. On the other hand, the retail market has been severely damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers’ wages shrunk and they naturally became cautious with their spending. Sales of hydronic heat pumps were also greatly affected in 2020 but demand is expected to recover to previous levels in 2021, boosted by resuming construction activity.
Looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the European markets, suppliers reported similar issues faced in the building sector: most construction projects carried on at a slower pace while some were cancelled, and production lines at some HVAC manufacturers had to be put on hold for several weeks.
There are many common traits visible in every country, as COVID-19 caused lockdowns, impacted on construction, and triggered economic consequences which in turn diminished consumers’ purchasing power. HVAC manufacturers have been closely watching their expenditure, wholesalers reduced their inventories, installers have been staying away from work, and supply chains suffered interruptions. Costs for components, transport and labour crept up, but prices of equipment remained the same, putting a pressure on manufacturers’ margins.