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October 24, 2023 4:23 PM

JMIA Completes 2022 Music Products Production (Sales and Export) Survey

JMIA (Japan Musical Instruments Association) sent a questionnaire to 84 manufacturers throughout Japan for the 2022 Survey and 54 of them participated sending back data online. Japan Music Trades complied the data and completed the following report adding commentary.

2022 Production significantly increased in value

The survey shows export value of keyboards, percussions, guitars, and digital musical instruments dramatically increased. The largest difference in comparison with the 2021 data was that the manufacturers reported export value far surpassed unit sales in many product categories. Among the 70 reported categories, in 24 categories, export value exceeded unit value over the 2021 survey in which only 7 categories were reported.

It’s largely attributed to the actuality that the manufacturers raised price of products in the last one or two years. Also, U.S. dollar strengthened against yen helped contributed to increase their revenue. In 2021 exchange rate of yen against US dollar was between 110 yen and 115 yen. A year later, yen significantly went down to the range from 130 yen to 140 yen. In October last year, yen further dipped to 150 yen, the lowest level in the last 32 years.

On the other hand, Japanese manufacturers were hardly hit by hike of transportation, energy cost and raw materials and parts caused by soaring oil price. That means increased revenue was offset by weaker yen. Currency trend continued after this past April, export increase seems to last into 2024.

Sound domestic sales of acoustic piano

Export and domestic sales of acoustic upright, grand and automatic player pianos increased 8% to 70 billion yen in 2022. Export and domestic sales of digital piano also went up 14% to 92.9 billion yen. Total piano sales shared 45%, the largest of all categories.

Last year 13,077 units of acoustic piano, a 9% increase over the previous year were sold in Japan with total sales of 7.8 billion yen, a 10% increase which exceeded 2019 before the pandemic sales.

Domestic acoustic piano sales included 9,744 upright pianos (+11%) and 3,276 grand pianos (+3%). Domestic sales and export of grand pianos and automatic player pianos increased between 5% and 60%, but upright pianos declined both in the domestic market and export by 4% and 17%, respectively. Export unit of upright pianos also decreased but increased in value.

182 thousand units of digital pianos, 16% fewer than the year before last were sold in Japan with total value of 13.4 billion yen, a 10% decrease. While export of digital pianos went down 11% to 1,358 thousand units, the total value gained 20% to 79.5 billion yen.

Domestic sales of electronic keyboard increased 21% to 192 thousand units as seniors became interested in the instruments again. Total value jumped up 35% to 3.1 billion yen.

Domestic sales of automatic player pianos and digital pianos went down in value last year.

Dramatic increase of wind instruments export

Total domestic sales and export of wind instruments achieved 35.5 billion yen and shared the largest 10% of the total categories. They increased 23% to 397 thousand units and 32% in value. The unit sales nearly recovered 400,000 units recorded in 2019.

Domestic sales increased 9% in value over the year before last, but unit sales declined 1% to 42,000 units.

Despite the instruments of almost all categories have not yet recovered the pre-pandemic level in unit, saxophone sales doubled to 19,000 units, the largest increase in the past 8 years gaining 1.89 billion yen, a 35% increase. It looks that exceptional demands for entry-level models from students and adults pushed up the unit sales.

Export of woodwind and brass instruments considerably increased in unit from 13% to 31% and from 2% to 67% depending on items, respectively. They also increased in value from 30% to 60%. As far as unit sales are concerned, wind instrument sales have about returned to the pre-pandemic level.

Domestic sales of violin and family instruments gained modest 2% to 300 million yen, but unit sales declined 14% to 4,017 units. Domestic production of other stringed instruments including mandolins, banjoes and harps increased astonishing 151% in unit and domestic sales gained 193% in unit last year. Since this category showed extraordinary discrepancies during the last couple of years, it’s not easy to find the real market conditions from the unit price and year to year comparison of data.

Percussions achieved 3 consecutive years of growth

Domestic sales and export of percussions increased 22% to 27.9 billion yen which was 3-consecutive years of growth after the record sales in 2016. Domestic sales increased 4% to 3.7 billion yen, and export gained 25% to 24.2 billion yen. As shown on many other product categories,  sales increase in value exceeded that of unit sales over the year.

Categories with increased domestic sales included, drum sets (7%) educational percussions (9%), cymbals (13%), sticks and mallets (75%) and other percussions (59%).

Export of marching drums rose 54%, educational percussions 181% and other percussions 83%. All tells that business of these items were excellent and recovered near or even higher level of pre-pandemic.

Sales of electronic drum sets which shared 35% of total percussions have slowed down as the dynamic surge of demands during the stay-at-home times waned. Export of them went up 7% in value but declined 20% in unit. Domestic sales of them went down 30% in unit and 21% in value.

Export of other electronic percussions which shared 14% of the total percussion increased 16% in unit and 104% in value. Domestic sales of them decreased 13% in unit, but value wise increased 20%.

Sales growth of electric guitar continued

Total sales and export of acoustic guitars, electric-acoustic guitars, electric guitars & basses, amps, effect pedals, tuners and strings marked 63.8 billion yen sharing 18% of total categories.

The frenetic demands for acoustic and electric-acoustic guitars continued from 2020 to 2021 diminished, domestic sales and export of acoustic guitars declined 33% and 35% in unit, respectively. Though domestic sales of electric-acoustic guitars decreased 10%, and export dropped 25% in unit, they maintain demands during the pre-pandemic period.

Last year 586,000 electric guitars and basses, the same level over the previous year were exported. Domestic sales of them decreased minimal 3%. Given that the 2021 sales far exceeded that of 2020 (export and domestic sales increased 37% and 137%, respectively),  it’s safe to say that the category kept excellent performance when compared with the 2019 pre-pandemic sales.

The 2022 growth was partly attributed to the soared demands for entry level guitars from the year end through last spring inspired by a popular TV animation program.

The data shows that domestic sales of guitar and bass strings increased 720% to 680 million yen despite the unit sales didn’t much change from the year before last. This incredible growth may reflect some leading manufacturers of expensive guitar and bass strings newly participated in the survey or, there is a possibility that one or more manufacturers only reported domestic sales, excluding export data because average export unit price in 2022 almost remained the same as 2021. 

Reed instrument sales followed trajectory of recovery

Domestic sales of other musical instruments including reed instruments, recorders, ocarinas and Taishokotos slightly surpassed the pre-pandemic performance. Export of harmonicas increased 52% and domestic sales jumped up 130%. Export of melodicas also increased 172%, while domestic sales decreased a marginal 2%. Sales of accordions returned to the level before the pre-pandemic times. Also, recorders nearly achieved the level before 2019 both in domestic sales and export.

Domestic sales of synthesizer exceeded 2021 level

Sales of synthesizers with keyboard and other electronic musical instruments increased 37% in value but decreased 9% in unit. Export of them went up 35% and 50% in value, respectively. Domestic sales of synthesizer with keyboard increased 8% in unit but decreased 1% in value. Domestic sales of synthesizer with keyboard increased 8% in unit from, but value declined 1%.

Export and domestic sales of other electronic musical instruments decreased between 12% and 22% depending on product lines in unit but in value they increased between 37% and 50%.

Export of easy-to-use PA system expands

Live musical events got back in 2021, demands for PA system grew. In 2022 export of easy-to-use PA and speaker systems dramatically advanced. On the other hand, export and domestic sales of power amplifiers significantly dropped both in unit and value. It’s likely that fewer manufacturers participated in the 2022 survey rather than demands diminished.

To the contrary, production and sales of cabled microphones, digital MTRs, portable digital recorders, sound cards & related hardware substantially increased. Like the PA system, it looks there developed a major change in data base of manufacturers making these lines.

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