June camera production and shipment figures from CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) continue the sharp negative trend from May, with total shipments just over half achieved in June 2015 in volume terms.
For the first six months of 2016, production is down to 66 percent of 2015 levels and shipments down to 67.5 percent of 2015 levels.
While the real carnage is in digital compacts, the critical interchangeable lens segment has also been seriously impacted over the last two months, whereas through 2015 and up until March there were signs the drop in demand was being arrested, with an actual increase in shipments of interchangeables in some months, for the first time since 2012.
The damage has been done over the second quarter. Jan-March production of interchangeable cameras was line-ball at 97 percent of Jan-March 2015. But by June, the production figures for the half year had fallen to 81 percent of Jan-June 2015, and shipments to 83.5 percent.
This roughly co-incides with the period of the aftermath of the Kumamoto earthquakes.
In the first quarter of 2016, production of mirrorless interchangeables was close to 20 percent above 2015 levels. By June, this had dropped to 85 percent of Jan-June 2015 levels. (Although there is one bright spot in that the revenue delivered by these sales, in yen terms at least, stayed at 2015 levels – so average selling price has increased.)
Lens production and shipments are also down over the second quarter, although not quite so markedly as overall camera figures Jan-June production and shipments are around 85 percent of 2015 levels. Jan-March production and shipments were 95 and 94 percent of 2015 levels respectively.
When the data is looked at from a regional basis, the Japanese market is the worse performing. Shipments of interchangeable lens cameras to Europe are close to 2015 levels.
For a report on local camera supply issues, click here.