Chinese heaters in hot demand in Europe amid energy crisis ahead of winter
Published: Sep 06, 2022 10:27 PM
An employee processes a batch of solar heat pump equipment part in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu Province on April 12, 2022. Photo: VCG

An employee processes a batch of solar heat pump equipment part in Lianyungang, East China's Jiangsu Province on April 12, 2022. Photo: VCG

Chinese heating appliances are in high demand, with some producers seeing their orders in the first half of the year jump 100 percent year-on-year, as European countries are scrambling to deal with the energy crisis intensified by geopolitical tensions and inflation.

While European consumers are preparing for possible disruptions by buying more heaters, producers in manufacturing hubs in China have worked around the clock to deal with rising overseas orders, especially those from Europe, to ensure that the much-needed appliances can be delivered into customers' hands before winter dawns.

Among ordinary heaters, those that consume less electricity, are more eco-friendly or offer value for money gained particular footholds in the European market as the region faces jumping energy prices, the Global Times learned.

For example, in the overall cooler and heater industry, air source heat pumps bucked the trend in the first half of the year, especially for exports, industry insiders said.

A report from, an industry information consultancy platform, on Tuesday showed that overall sales of Chinese-produced air-to-water (ATW) heat pump water heaters reached 7.19 billion yuan ($1.03 billion) in the first half of the year, a nearly 30-percent growth year-on-year, with domestic sales rising by 6.83 percent and exports jumping by a significant 68.2 percent.

The failure of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to resume gas supply pushed up European natural gas prices again, with the price on the European natural gas futures market up 72.5 euros ($71.95) on Monday to 281 euros per megawatt-hour, a sharp increase of 35 percent from the market price on Friday.

The unprecedented energy situation in Europe, intensified by political tensions and sanctions, has brought about an impact on industries and public livelihoods, while jumping energy prices have accelerated the regional popularity of energy-saving and more value-for-money home appliances.

Chinese electrical appliance manufacturing conglomerate Midea Group saw ATW heat pump water heater shipments worldwide jump by 200 percent in the first half of this year, according to a statement the company sent to the Global Times on Tuesday.

The company's ATW heat pump water heater shipments accounted for nearly 6 percent of the European market capacity in 2021, industry data showed.

Most current European home heating installations are wall-hung boilers, which use traditional fossil fuels such as natural gas to heat water. If natural gas is not available or inadequate, residents may have a big problem in the winter, so everyone is trying to find a way to replace the wall-hung boiler with a heat pump, according to Midea Group.

In terms of energy saving, electricity that heat pumps use can generate four or even five times more heat than fossil fuels, industry insiders said, another reason for the rising popularity of such products in Europe.

Midea said that heat pump products are still in adequate supply in the market, and the company is confident that the whole supply chain, ranging from raw materials to production lines, can respond quickly for the timely delivery of products for the global market.

In the first half of the year, the export value of Chinese ATW heat pump water heaters to Bulgaria rose by 614 percent, followed by 373 percent for Poland, 198 percent for Italy, and 71 percent for Spain, according to media outlet on Tuesday.

Chinese home appliance provider Vanward, based in South China's Guangdong Province, said on Tuesday via its investor hotline that the company's export value of ATW heat pump water heaters surpassed 7.8 million yuan in the first half of 2022, an up to 100-percent increase year-on-year.

A manager surnamed Huang with Winning Star Electronic Technology Co, based in East China's Yiwu, told the Global Times on Tuesday that it has received rising orders and inquiries from many countries, including those in Europe, with inquiries mainly for heating appliances.

While there are seasonal factors that drive growth, Huang said that the tight energy situation in Europe also plays its part.

"Some foreign clients who used to place orders locally have now come to us for inquiries," Huang said, indicating a trend that may lead to bigger orders for the rest of the year.

Huang expected that orders for the second half of the year will double compared with the same period last year.

China is the main supplier of heat pumps in Europe, accounting for 60 percent of the market, where explosive growth has taken place.

Due to the current global demand for air source heat pump products, it is expected that heat pump exports will maintain a growth level of at least 50 percent for the whole year, with the demand from the European market to see a sharp rise, according to