Do You Know What MOQ Is and Why It Is Important for Chinese Suppliers?

Meeting the minimum order quantity (MOQ) set by Chinese suppliers is a significant challenge for SMEs purchasing wholesale goods. Suppliers strictly adhere to MOQ requirements, as orders below this threshold are often deemed financially unviable. Failure to meet MOQs may result in orders being rejected, with little room for negotiation due to cost considerations.

MOQ, or Minimum Order Quantity, is integral to supply chain management, serving as a prerequisite for procuring products from manufacturers. Meeting MOQ requirements enables stable supplier relationships, competitive pricing, and consistent product supply to meet customer demand.

Manufacturers optimize production processes and maintain profitability through MOQ adherence, highlighting its crucial role in business operations.

What is MOQ? Let us first try to understand MOQ before we discuss its importance while dealing with any Chinese suppliers.

The Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) refers to the smallest quantity of a product or service that a supplier or manufacturer requires a customer to purchase in a single order. It is also referred to as “The Minimum Purchase Quantity.”

Indeed, different industries and products have varying MOQ requirements based on factors like production costs and operational efficiency.

For instance, a clothing manufacturer may set a MOQ of 1000 pieces per order to cover fabric and manufacturing costs. Similarly, an electronics components supplier may require a MOQ of 5000 units to ensure efficient production, while a pharmaceutical distributor may set a MOQ of 1000 bottles to cover packaging and regulatory expenses.

Why Chinese suppliers require a MOQ?

Chinese suppliers, reliant on low-cost labour, often impose high minimum order quantities due to slim profit margins of 2- 4%. Intense competition in the Chinese market drives prices down, necessitating large-scale production to maintain profitability.

Chinese suppliers face constraints preventing them from lowering MOQs, limiting their ability to engage with small importers. Despite potential benefits, operational constraints make reducing MOQs unfeasible, restricting opportunities for increased business and collaboration with smaller buyers.

Manufacturing companies, when procuring raw materials and components, must adhere to suppliers’ minimum order quantities (MOQs). To prevent excess inventory, they impose minimum quantities on purchasers. Unlike Western counterparts, Chinese suppliers don’t maintain ready-delivery inventories, purchasing materials only after order confirmation.

This practice minimizes warehouse management costs and unsold product risks. Consequently, both suppliers and manufacturers rely on MOQs to streamline operations and ensure efficiency in the production process.

Goods intended for European and US markets necessitate special certifications, mandating high-quality materials, which incur additional costs. Consequently, Chinese suppliers opt to finalize orders before commencing production, avoiding the risk of costly manufacturing without confirmed buyers.

This strategy aligns with quality standards and mitigates financial risks associated with unsold inventory.


Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) is pivotal across industries, aiding suppliers in production optimization and cost reduction. Businesses must weigh MOQ’s impact on capital, inventory, and customer demand, fostering flexibility to enhance operational efficiency, profitability, and customer satisfaction in a dynamic marketplace.

Contact Aaron Li, who is the MD of Maple Sourcing Ltd. one of the most reputed sourcing agencies in China, who can help you to negotiate MOQ with your Chinese supplier.