Frankfurt , Germany – German machinery companies have modified down their sales growth forecasts for 2016.
At the VDMA association of German plastics and rubber machinery producers annual members’ meeting in Frankfurt, chairman Ulrich Reifenhäuser predicted more moderate 2 percent growth for 2016 and 2017, which would bring turnover up respectively to €7.2 billion and €7.3 billion.
The figures were down from the 5 percent turnover growth for 2015 forecast in October 2015.
The year ended with 4.7 percent growth to reach a new record level of €7.02 billion, against a 1.1 percent decline in 2014.
A study commissioned by the VDMA last autumn 2015 had indicated 3.2 percent annual growth in 2016 and 2017 for worldwide plastics and rubber machinery production, along with zero growth for German production in 2016.
The rather moderate forecasts made in June 2016 were based on stable demand in western Europe and the US and a low point in deliveries to Russia having been already reached.
This would be offset however by “low impulses and less firm growth” from developing countries with many having “internal problems”, India will present new opportunities, as will ending of sanctions in Iran, Reifenhäuser stated.
The forecasts also took account of an overall 4 percent increase in incoming orders in January-April 2016, compared with the same period in 2015. Within this, incoming orders rose 7 percent in Germany, 4 percent in the export markets and as much as 39 percent in the Eurozone.
Exports in core machinery were up 1.6 percent to €4.68 billion in 2015, while imports were unchanged at €1.08 billion, accounted for mainly by Austrian and Swiss producers, both suffering slight declines after benefiting strongly from German domestic growth in 2014.
China maintained its lead in production value over Germany, accounting for 32.5 percent (down from 33.4 percent) of €33.9 billion world production value, against Germany’s 20.7 percent (up from 20.5 percent). Both leading producing countries were well ahead of the others: Italy (7.8 percent), US (7.2 percent) and Japan (4.5 percent).
Germany retained its world lead at 22.2 percent of €21.1 billion of world exports, down from 23.7 percent in 2014, as China increased its share from 12.8 percent to 15 percent, a lower share due to its large domestic market absorbing much of its production, but narrowing the gap with Germany over recent years (2011: 10.3 percent). Italy, US and Japan lagged also with little change in 2015, at respectively 9.1 percent, 6 percent and 9 percent.
The US was the largest destination for German machinery exports, up 15.3 percent to €719 million on the back of the country’s “re-industrialisation and shale gas exploitation benefits”. Although China as a destination was in second place, exports fell 19.3 percent to €653 million and the country has lost its previous first place, held since 2008, to the US.
After slight declines in injection moulding machinery production value in 2013, followed by 9 percent growth in 2014, 2015 was an even better year, growth accelerating by 14.6 percent to €1.04 billion, while exports grew 6.9 percent to €839 million.
Extruders and extrusion line production grew 9.4 percent to €1.1 billion, with 2015 exports accounting for €768 million, up 25.6 percent.