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Hydrocarbon compressors dominate in China

CHINA: Hermetic reciprocating compressors running on hydrocarbon refrigerants now account for around 80% of sales in China’s home market, with R134a units being mainly produced for export.

According to the latest report by UK market consultants, BSRIA, the total sales volume of Chinese hermetic reciprocating compressors reached about 200 million units in 2020, rising by 14.5%. The domestic market grew 15.6% to 130 million units with the export market increasing by about 12.4% to 71 million units. 

Of the three major refrigerants for domestic refrigerators and freezers (R600a, R134a, R290), R600a accounts for over 70%. R290 still only accounts for a small share, mainly used for the freezers, but it is expected to see fast growth, due to the perceived advantages on quick-freezing and ability to reach temperatures as low as -30℃, which is quite difficult for R600a. Last year the sales volume of R290 compressors sold in the domestic market rose by about  30% to 10 million units. 

The main refrigerants in the commercial hermetic reciprocating compressor market are R134a, R290 and R404A, with each of them representing a similar proportion. The proportion of R290 compressors is said to have increased significantly, firstly as compressors with R290 have advantages on energy efficiency and noise reduction, and the after sales system in China has been gradually improved in recent years, which has accelerated the shift in refrigerants. Secondly, many countries and regions like Europe and America are promoting R290.


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