Komatsu expects slow reconstruction of demand after COVID-19 — Panjiva
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Komatsu expects slow reconstruction of demand after COVID-19

Coronavirus 511 Earnings 682 Industrials - Capital Goods 559 Quote Watch 452 U.S. 5260

Komatsu reported a 24.8% year over year slide in revenues and a 63.4% drop in operating profits in FQ1’21 (calendar Q2’20), with the impact of COVID-19 being felt across its construction, mining and industrial equipment operations.

The firm predicted a 115 billion yen ($1.09 billion) operating profit in the current fiscal year (to March 2021), representing a 54.0% drop and below the 203 billion yen forecast by analysts according to Reuters. The firm expects “demand will enter a recovery phase in the third quarter (calendar Q4’20) in the Traditional Markets (Japan, North America and Europe) and in the fourth quarter (calendar Q1’21) in the strategic markets“.

That’s a somewhat more conservative stance than that taken by other capital goods producers which operate at the smaller end of the scale such as Makita, as discussed in Panjiva’s research of August 3.

Panjiva’s data for U.S. seaborne imports linked to Komatsu show that shipments of completed machines fell significantly more swiftly than parts. Total shipments linked to Komatsu fell by 29.8% year over year in Q2, with machinery down by 54.4% and parts by 16.1%. There’s little sign of a change in that pattern in July with imports of machinery down by 49.7% in the first three weeks of the month while components fell by 17.7%.

KOMATSU’S DOWNTURN STARTED BEFORE COVID-19

Chart segments U.S. seaborne imports linked to Komatsu by product. Data for July through 21st of month in 2019 and 2020. Source: Panjiva 

Komatsu’s performance has been somewhat worse than the average. Total U.S. seaborne imports of construction machinery fell by 31.7% in Q2 and by 30.8% year over year in the first three weeks of July. European exporters did better with shipments linked to Volvo and JCB having declined by just 7.8% and 18.2% year over year respectively while Bomag’s declined by just 18.6%. 

Other Asian manufacturers have seen a weaker performance with Kubota down by 34.5% and Hitachi down by 67.3%. It remains to be seen, of course, whether the split between European and Asian manufacturers supplies are a function of actual sales – eg Komatsu indicated demand in China has been stronger – or hoped-for demand.

CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT SHIPMENTS IN A HOLE

Chart segments U.S. seaborne imports linked to Komatsu by product. Data for July through 21st of month in 2019 and 2020. Source: Panjiva 

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