German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers are expecting sales to fall by a modest 1% this year, taking output to around 6.5 billion euros. For 2014, an increase of 6% to some 6.9 billion euros is anticipated, according to VDMA.
“In October last year, the Association had predicted 3% growth for 2013. Based on the last six months, this has now been revised slightly down-wards,” said Association Chairman Ulrich Reifenhäuser of this development. “The level of incoming orders in April gives us reason to hope that things have now bottomed out.”
Sales to customers abroad are expected to show a positive result in 2013 and 2014. “After falling last year, exports to Asia’s emerging markets are picking up again. Demand from Central and Eastern Europe will also continue to rise; as a result, foreign sales are set to be up slightly this year overall,” explained Thorsten Kühmann, the Association’s Managing Director. “If orders from Western Europe also rally in the year ahead, foreign demand should gain further momentum.”
Following brisk investment activity the previous year, domestic orders have declined recently. However, private consumption continues to grow, and with interest rates low construction activity in Germany also remains buoyant. “October’s K 2013 trade fair in Düsseldorf will also give German converters a boost,” anticipated Ulrich Reifenhäuser. “We believe that the domestic investment climate will be positive again in 2014.”
German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers largely succeeded in maintaining their market shares in 2012 in the face of global competition. The above-average rise in production ensured that Germany’s share increased slightly again, while China’s declined for the first time in years. In terms of foreign business, the world’s leading exporter had to cede market shares to its competitors.