The Japan Powder Metallurgy Association (JPMA) has published statistics showing the change in production volumes of Powder Metallurgy structural parts and bearings in Japan in 2019. The trade association stated that in 2019, the volume of structural parts produced was 86,194 tons, a 2.7% decrease from the previous year. The volume of PM bearings produced was 5,822 tons, a 13.2% decrease from the previous year.
In 2019, the automotive industry remained the largest consumer of PM structural parts and bearings by volume. Structural parts production volume for vehicles was 81,463 tons, a 2.3% decrease from the previous year.
According to the JPMA, the market for PM structural parts for vehicles was affected by the trade conflict between the USA and other major vehicle producers such as China, and the resulting decrease in exports. Production volume was also negatively impacted by an increase in consumption tax in Japan, natural disasters and an increase in overseas production at foreign plants owned by Japanese companies.
The production volume of bearings specifically for vehicles was reported at 3,776 tons, a 13.3% decrease from the previous year. This was said to be due to the continuing reduction in vehicle engine sizes and the decrease in foreign demand. The trend of smaller capacity engines, and increases in overseas production, are expected to continue stated the JPMA.