Is the genset market going to turn in 2018?

graphAfrican imports of diesel generating sets decreased by 16 per cent last year. However, the outlook seems brighter for 2018

In 2017, African imports of diesel generating sets have decreased by 16 per cent, at a value of more than US$800mn. Despite a strong demand of power and a lack of grid reliability, the continent has suffered from low commodity prices and lower investments. Globally, the imports of all different type of generators have declined, highlighting that the decrease has been real in this industry. 

Top three markets suffer decline 

The top three countries, Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria, have suffered a 18 per cent drop in genset imports in 2017, and now only represent one quarter of total continent imports, valued at US$70mn each, in comparison to when they represented nearly one third of African imports three years ago. In Egypt and Algeria, there was a notable decrease in the high power genset range from 375+kVA, whereas this range increased in Nigeria and the smaller units (0-75 kVA) decreased. 

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Some countries, especially those with diversified economies, saw their imports grow in 2017. Angola, Kenya and South Africa, for example, experienced more than 20 per cent in import growth, especially in the 375+ kVA ranges, valued at US$50mn each.

What about origin of products? 

Despite a decrease in imports for the third consecutive year, China is still the major exporter by far, representing around one quarter of total African imports. However, Chinese exports of small generators 75 kVA, from China are stable, highlighting that China has gained market share in this sector, with most global generator manufacturers producing generators in China. Italian exports and, to some extent, the UK, have dropped by 35 per cent, valued at US$85mn, whereas French exports have slightly increased, gaining market share especially in English-speaking countries. However, the top three export countries remain the same, China, UK,
France with historical market shares on the continent and represent together more than 50 per cent of total exports to Africa. 

What does 2018 look like? 

The outlook for 2018 looks promising thanks to uptick in major industries such as mining and construction, so despite the African genset import market hitting the ground in 2017, it is expected to recover this year. 


See the latest genset deals happening across the continent here.


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