Japan's industrial robot production has largest decline in 10 years in Q1 2024te:name]
, Japan

Japan’s Q1 industrial robot production sees largest decline in a decade

Shipments and exports are also on a downward trend.

Japan’s industrial robot production experienced its biggest drop in a decade in the first quarter of 2024, a report from the Japan Robot Association (JARA) said. 

New orders for industrial robots decreased by 24.0% year-on-year to approximately $1.13b (¥158.2b), marking the sixth consecutive quarter of decline. Similarly, production also saw a decline of 25.0% to $1.16b (¥162.6b), making it the fourth consecutive quarter of decrease. 

This downward trend in both new orders and production showed no signs of slowing down, with the quarterly drop in production being the largest in the past 10 years.

Total shipments of industrial robots decreased by 21.5% year-on-year to $1.24b (¥173.2b), with the total number of units shipped dropping by 31.7% to 45,535 units. 

This marked the fourth consecutive quarter of decline in gross shipments and the fifth consecutive quarter of decline in unit shipments. 

Whilst shipments to the automotive industry in Japan only slightly declined, the electrical machinery industry saw a sharp decrease due to the sluggish semiconductor industry.

Exports of industrial robots also took a hit, falling by 27.3% year-on-year to 120.2 billion yen, with the number of units exported declining by 36.5% to 29,772 units. The lack of momentum in exports to China, as well as a sharp decline in exports for welding applications, were major factors contributing to this decrease.

Despite global demand for automation expanding due to various risks such as COVID-19 and geopolitical tensions, investment in some applications remained subdued. 

Uncertainty about the global economy also weighed heavily on the growth outlook for the industrial robot industry as the year progressed.

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