Demand for German plastics and rubber machinery recovers

Demand for German plastics and rubber machinery recovers
The outlook for plastics and rubber machinery has improved further. The final quarter of 2009 closed with orders for German machinery up by a nominal 35 per cent. October 2009 saw a resumption of demand growth for the first time since early 2008. This trend continued in the two months that followed.

- The stimulus came from countries outside Europe - said Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association. - With orders from customers in Germany and the euro area lagging behind the previous year’s figures.

- Not only are the expectations now positive - the Association Chairman continued. - But the assessment of the current situation has also improved significantly. Early indicators are positive in the most important customer sectors. The latest trend survey among Association’s member firms confirms that, compared to the first half of the year, demand for plastics and rubber machinery picked up in all sales areas in the second half of 2009. In the two previous surveys, the picture had been marked by a decline in new orders.

The order situation is expected to improve further in all sales areas in the current half year. - On this basis there is good reason to believe that the industry’s volume of incoming orders and sales will end this year on a markedly positive note,” explained Ulrich Reifenhäuser.

Ulrich Reifenhäuser pointed out that following an unprecedented period of growth the economic downturn had resulted in falling orders in the sector since early 2008. Since the autumn of 2008, the plastics and rubber machinery industry had been one of the first branches of German machinery manufacturing to feel the full brunt of the slump in new orders as the crisis took hold.

The rise in the last quarter of 2009 cushioned the effect of the decline for the year as a whole. In the period from January to December, orders for German machinery fell by a nominal 28 per cent. Demand from customers in Germany was down 35 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year, with orders from abroad falling by a total of 24 per cent, but by 38 per cent from the countries of the euro area.