Janus Perspective: China market 14 February 2024

Welcome to the 2024 Janus Perspective, a unique feature that includes a wide cross section of global fastener business leaders. Named after the Roman God 'Janus' – who had the ability to look to the future and to the past, and was often depicted with having two faces – this feature brings together thought leaders from every facet of the industry, from around the world, to give us their retrospective on 2023, as well as prospects and challenges for 2024.

Gracie Wang, editor, China Fastener Magazine

In 2023, China’s fastener industry, a key component of the global manufacturing sector, navigated through a complex interplay of policy changes, economic shifts and market dynamics.

Firstly, the Chinese government introduced its ‘30:60 Carbon Neutrality Strategy’, aimed at achieving peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, which increased pressure on fastener manufacturers to comply with stricter environmental regulations. This necessitated significant changes in manufacturing processes to reduce carbon footprints, with the industry facing challenges in balancing immediate economic interests with long-term environmental commitments.

Implementing environmentally friendly technologies and processes often meant higher initial investments and operational costs for manufacturers. This included investments in cleaner energy sources, waste management systems, as well as energy efficient machinery. To meet the carbon neutrality goals, manufacturers also had to upgrade to more advanced, energy efficient technologies. This shift required not only financial investment but also a re-skilling of the workforce.

The continuation of anti-dumping duties on Chinese fasteners by the EU also led to a reorientation of export strategies. These duties, intended to protect European manufacturers, pushed Chinese companies to explore alternative markets and invest in higher quality and technologically advanced products. The impact was particularly felt in regions heavily reliant on European markets – leading to a gradual shift in export focus towards the Americas, Asia and Africa. There has been a noticeable shift from low-end, mass produced fasteners to more specialised, high-end products. This shift was not only a response to the EU tax but also aligned with the global trend towards more sophisticated manufacturing needs.

To add to this, China’s industrial policies, promoting technological upgrades and innovation in manufacturing, offered both challenges and opportunities. Companies were encouraged to invest in R&D and adopt advanced manufacturing technologies, positioning themselves for competition in higher end markets.

The export landscape

The year 2023 witnessed a dichotomy in China’s fastener industry. There was an oversupply of low-end products, yet a shortage in
high-end offerings. The industry’s total capacity in 2023 was around 8 million tonnes, with a noticeable disparity between low-end (6 million tonnes) and high-end capacities (2 million tonnes). The emphasis on technological advancement aimed to bridge this gap. China’s fastener exports totalled approximately 4.5 million tonnes, with a 5% increase from 2022. However, exports to the EU decreased by about 10% due to anti-dumping duties, highlighting the need for market diversification. 

China’s main export markets were Europe, America and other Asian countries. When compared to Taiwan and India, China held an advantage in scale and technology. However, it faced competition in cost control and product innovation. Taiwan and India, though smaller in scale, demonstrated competitiveness in niche markets and innovation.

Looking ahead to 2024

The fastener industry in China is poised to continue its growth trajectory in 2024. With government policies and market demand as driving forces, high-end and intelligent fastening solutions are expected to dominate. Companies will increasingly focus on R&D and technological innovation to meet the domestic and international demand for high-quality fasteners.

In the meantime, the industry faces intensified global competition, rising raw material costs and stringent environmental regulations. These challenges necessitate strategic adaptations, particularly in enhancing product quality and environmental compliance.

The fastener industry’s evolution towards efficiency and eco-friendliness, after undergoing technological upgrades and market restructuring, presents a promising outlook. Although challenges persist, opportunities in high-end product development and Smart manufacturing are abundant. The industry’s ability to innovate and adapt will be pivotal in maintaining its global competitiveness and meeting the evolving demands of both domestic and international markets. 

The year 2024 will be crucial in determining how well the industry adapts to the ongoing challenges while capitalising on the emerging opportunities – particularly in the realms of high-end production and intelligent manufacturing. The overall outlook remains optimistic, with a clear focus on sustainable and efficient growth.  

Content Director

Will Lowry Content Director t: +44 (0) 1727 743 888


Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 15 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.

Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.