• Analyses on Export of China's Flanges to the EU and the US (Part One)

Analyses on Export of China's Flanges to the EU and the US (Part One)

1. An introduction
1.1 The definition of the flange
Flanges are spare parts between two shafts to connect tube ends. Flanges such as reducer flanges are also used for inlets and outlets of facilities to connect two facilities. The flange connection or the flange joint refers to a set of detachable connection with the sealed structure composed of the flange, the gasket and the bolt. Pipe flanges are applied to pipe fittings in pipelines, and also can be used for inlets and outlets of facilities. Holes and bolts on flanges can make two flanges closely connected. Flanges are sealed through gaskets.
1.2 Categories of flanges
The flange manufacturing industry can provide their users with about 19 categories of flanges. According to the production materials, flanges can be divided into WCB (carbon steel), LCB (low temperature carbon steel), LC3 (3.5% nickel steel), WC5 (1.25% chromium and 12% chromium steel), CF8M (316 stainless steel), CF8 (304 stainless steel), CF3 (304L stainless steel), CF3M (316L stainless steel), etc.
1.3 Detection methods of flanges
The conventional detection methods of flanges can be divided into chemical composition detection method, mechanical property detection method, size detection and nondestructive testing method. Selective detection method of flanges can be further classified into metallographic detection method, low-acid etching detection method, coating thickness detection method, stainless steel grain-boundary corrosion detection method, pressure detection method and HIC detection method. China's enterprises or test centers, most of them have purchased advanced test equipment, but the number of inspectors and quality of inspection are still not up to the requirements. The actual test specifications are relatively far from those of the first well-known international testing institutions such as the SGS. Professional, accurate and rapid test data can give timely feedback to the production process, trade and use.
1.4 Export of China's flanges to the world
In the conventional detection of steel flange, the HS code is 7307.9100. China's steel flanges have been exported to the United States and Europe. In 2016, the total amount of exported steel products to the United States and the EU fell by 63.5% and 13.2%, respectively. However, the export volume of steel flanges was not much affected. The export volume of steel flanges exported to the EU even had an year-on-year increase of 3.0% in 2016. The export value of China's steel flanges exported to the world was USD490,000,000 and the export weight was 406,000 tons. The export situation of China's steel flanges to the world is shown in Figure 1.

 The export situation of China's flanges to the world
Since 2012, the total weight of China's flanges exported to the world has continued to decrease, but because the unit price rose, the export value has been stable. In 2016, the weight of China's flanges exported to the US, the UK and the EU accounted for 4.4%, 2.4% and 24.3% of the total weight of China's flanges exported to the world; in export value, accounted for 8.0%, 2.0% and 23.4% of the total export value of China's flanges exported to the world. China's flanges exported to the US have relatively higher prices, but there are also higher quality requirements on them. From the perspective that the population of the US is 320,000,000 and that of the EU is about 510,000,000, the per capita weight and value of the imported flanges from China of the EU are higher than those of the US. If the EU is not regarded as a whole, the weight and value of China's flanges exported to the major industrial countries of the EU is similar to those exported to the US.
Although the flanges exported to the EU and the US only account for a small proportion in the total flanges that China exported to the world, it has guiding significance in the future development of China's flange industry.


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