January 2009 Archives

* This posting is the second in a series of postings reviewing the China Steel Pipe market in 2008.

2. Price

The price of steel pipes fluctuated radically in 2008. The main driver behind high prices in the first half of the year was the high price of raw materials generally, while changes in the macroeconomic environment in the second half of the year caused prices to slump.

The price of seamless pipes climbed from RMB5550 in January 2008 to around RMB8000 in July, but started falling shortly afterwards. By December, the price had dropped to below RMB5000, lower than the price at the beginning of the year.

The price of welded pipes also increased to around RMB6000 in June, from RMB4500 in January, but dropped to RMB3700 in Beijing at the end of 2008.

3. Imports & Exports

China exports far greater quantities of steel pipes than it imports.

China exported a total of 8.4 million tons of steel pipes from January to October 2008, a decrease of 897.8 thousand tons compared to the same period in 2007. Exports of welded pipes decreased by 1.6 million tons year-on-year, while exports of seamless steel pipes increased by 876.6 thousand tons. Welded pipe exports decreased significantly in 2008 because the export tariff rebate on welded pipes was cancelled in July 2007. Yet exports of welded pipes increased again from late 2008 as the tariff rebate was introduced again in response to the global financial crisis.

During the period January-October 2008, China imported 860.7 thousand tons of steel pipes, a year-on-year increase of 86 thousand tons. The majority of these steel pipes are comparatively high-ended, of which China has limited capacity at present. 
The 8th China International Auto Accessories Commercial Expo (CIAACE)

Venue:        Beijing National Agriculture Exhibition Center
Date:          20-23 February 2009
Organizer:   YASN International Exhibition Co., Ltd. 
Tel:           +86 10 8225 0016

auto accessories event.JPGBriefing:
As the largest auto aftermarket industy expo in China, CIAACE 2009 provides a platform for auto accessories and customized parts, as well as the newest auto electronics and technologies. Over 1200 auto accessories manufacturers are expected to join the event.

For more information, see website.
*This posting is a guideline for Chinese suppliers to conduct efficient and professional price negotiations with foreign clients.

由于业务原因,我们经常陪同客户考察工厂并参与谈判,在谈到产品报价时,经常遇到工厂和外方围绕价格的争论,其中有些感触如下

 

总的来说,在中国寻找供应商的外国客户,一般都是此行业的专家,并已经对行情作了一定研究,所以在谈判中比较自信和内行。而且作为外方谈判的风格,也常常在杀价时幅度比较大,比较直接。有时甚至一上来,就把价钱杀一半。有些工厂的业务当时就蒙了,或者有些生气,觉得这个客人是无理取闹,丢下一句“sorry, the price is impossible”,搞得客人和我们十分尴尬。其实,在谈判时最忌讳的就是“I can't, impossible”之类的不给自己留余地的话,无论是在什么时候,一定不能把话说死。那么,厂家应该如何应对呢

 

我们知道,在客户杀价一半的时候,无非有两种情况:

         A
,杀一半的价钱对工厂来说仍然是有利的;      B,根本没办法接受。  

 A
情况虽然很少出现,但是我仍然想说说。有的业务非常直率,也不还价,立刻接受,殊不知,这样的话,客人会觉得自己被欺骗了,他会先下个小订单,跟你做熟了之后,再慢慢要求降价,或小幅度的砍,或要求同一价格不变,条款由 FOB改成CFR。这是对于厂家来说,因为是老客户,为了维护关系,一般没办法多会答应降价。一来二往,客户会慢慢把你的价格杀个落花流水。所以,在遇到这样的事时,我奉劝供应方不如先把自己的高兴和得意藏起来,一板一眼的和外方还价,到差不多时再慢慢接受。

 
 B
情况是最常见的,不同的人自然处理方法不同,我讲一个我认为非常成功的例子:有次我和客户一起见一个做小家电的工厂销售员。外方在听完报价后,如我所料的先砍一半,工厂销售却从容的拿出计算器,开始从板材到压缩机,从液晶屏到开关的价格,一点一点的计算成本给客人知道,让客户明白他提出的价钱是不可能做到的。而客户不但没有因为厂方驳回了他的价格生气,反而对这个销售人员很满意,认为这家工厂很专业,很有诚意。虽然当场没有成交,但是后来我听这个销售人员说客人给他下了30万美金的单子。

由这个例子我们可以看出,其实只要把握好客人的心里,摆事实,讲道理是,客户是可以理解厂家的报价的。最重要的一点:任何人,做任何事,接受任何价格,都是有理由的,符合逻辑的,这是谈判的不二法则。所以,在谈判桌上,做任何承诺,都要是有客观事实做基础,不要被客户的还价吓倒或者生气,更不要空口说大话,谈下订单却又无法履行。这才是在无数竞争者中脱颖而出,合理,良性的和外国客户发展双赢关系的基础。

China Steel Pipe Market Review 2008*

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* This posting is the first of a series reviewing the China Steel Pipe market in 2008.

steel pipe1.jpgThe steel pipe market in China fluctuated greatly during 2008. In the first half of 2008, prices of steel pipes increased substantially with the general rise in raw material prices. From the beginning of the second half of the year, however, prices started to decline in concert with the global financial crisis. Steel mills in China experienced a drop in profitability, and hence reduced production. As the Beijing Olympics ended, winter came quickly for China's steel industry.

1. Output

Total output of steel pipes in China from January to November 2008 amounted to 39.64 million tons, with year-on-year growth of 0.20 million tons. Seamless steel contributed most of the growth rate (92%). The trend of steel pipe output in 2008 was first upwards and then downwards, with the dividing point occurring in July. After declining somewhat in February due to the Spring Festival holiday, output almost reached 4 million tons in June, the highest level of the year. From the following month, however, as demand began to shrink and iron ore and steel product prices started falling sharply, the mills opted for limiting production under pressure of large inventory. In October, output fell to 3.6 million tons, the lowest point for the second half of the year. Output increased again in November on the publication of new policies on export tariff rebate adjustments. The tariff rebate on welded pipes successfully stimulated demand so that production increased by 16% in November. Yet output of seamless steel pipes continued to decline without any successful stimulating factors appearing.

EVENTS: StoneTech 2009 Shanghai

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StoneTech 2009 Shanghai

Venue:        Shanghai New International Expo Center
Date:          15-18 February 2009
Organizer:   CCPIT Building Materials Sub-Council
Tel:           +86 10 6836 2774

Stonetech.JPGBriefing:
As the leading trade fair for natural stone and stone technology in China, StoneTech will exhibit a wide variety of products ranging from all kinds of natural and artificial stones to stone-carved crafts and mine exploitation equipment. More than 800 exhibitors from China, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Morocco, Eqypt, Greece and North America will take part in the event.

For more information, see website.
2009 China International Automotive Aftermarket Industry Fair

Venue:        China International Exhibition Center, Beijing
Date:          16-18 February 2009
Organizer:   CIEC Exhibition Co. Ltd.
Tel:           +86 10 8460 0822

Briefing:
As one of the most professional auto aftermarket industry exhibitions in Asia, CIAAI 2009 will feature over 1000 exhibitors with an exhibition space of over 40,000sqm. The fair will display the latest industry information as well as the most advanced equipment for car care, car modification, electronics & safety and decorations.

For more information, see website.
* This posting is the third part of a series of guidelines for Chinese suppliers to conduct efficient and professional meetings with foreign clients.

3. 工厂参观

 

(1). 安全问题。

虽然安全生产是所有工厂的口号,而笔者去得大部分工厂都是取得了ISO认证等一系列认证的合法合格企业,其中不乏企业是我国的行业领头。但是在很多车间,由于不注意细节和监管体系,不安全因素普遍存在。曾经有一次,笔者和国外的客户在一个总装车间参观,带领我们参观的是公司的电器总工程师。就在车间入口处的电闸控制箱,锁已经坏了,映入眼帘的是电线杂乱的互相缠绕在一起。客户玩笑似的问了一句,“以电器工程师的角度来看,这种情况允许发生吗?”电器总工程师很不好意思的摇了摇头。类似的情况举不胜举,有的工厂经理在进入车间时候给客户备了安全帽,自己却不戴。安全面前是没有特权的。

 

绝大部分工厂的车间是严格禁烟的,笔者却在为数不少的车间见到地板角落的烟头。国外工厂里工作时间是绝对禁止饮酒的,所以无论工厂的午餐准备的多么丰盛,都不要非劝客户喝酒了,向客户展示中国的酒文化可以安排到晚餐。

 

笔者遭遇的最严重一次,客户在验厂时受了轻伤,幸好只是蹭破皮,但是客户对工厂的印象可想而知。起因就是工厂没有在危险的地方做安全标示,不熟悉环境的人如果没有留意是非常容易受伤的。


(2). 车间管理。

与安全生产最紧密相关的一个方面,就是车间的管理。首先,在岗位上的工人表现直接反映出工厂的管理机制是否健全,培训是否有效。客户深知自己的产品将来就是要从这双手下产生,所以对生产线工人的技术,表现非常重视。

 

另外,成品,半成品散落一地,工作区和仓库区混在一起的车间,很难说服客户你可以有条不紊的安排生产装配,并且按时发货。繁忙拥挤的车间不一定非要是杂乱无序的。

 

(3). 工人工作环境。

随着时代的发展,越来越多的工厂开始努力与世界接轨,给工人创造更加舒适安全的工作环境。 笔者去的很多工厂都是重工业企业,车间一线工人的工作环境是非常艰苦的,但是最起码的职业病防护装备企业还是需要尽量配备好的。笔者曾经和一个客户参观了一个产品80%出口的企业,车间里光线昏暗,有害的粉尘到处都是,但是工人连一个防尘面罩都没有,看的客户直摇头。虽然价格便宜,产品出色,但是如果一旦有相似竞争力的公司可选,客户是不会与这样的工厂长期合作的。



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