Economical downturn not so strong as expected

Economical downturn not so…
German Engineering Federation (VDMA: Domestic plastics and rubber machinery sales fall less sharply than forecast but the market situation is still uncertain.

German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers’ sales fell less sharply than feared in 2009. The VDMA’s monthly sample survey shows that member firms’ sales were down by a nominal 30 per cent at the end of last year. - The drop in sales was not quite as severe as expected - said Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association, referring to the forecast of a 40 per cent slump.

Sales to customers in Germany were down 35 per cent on the previous year. Earnings from foreign sales fell by 28 per cent. For the countries of the euro area the downturn was 30 per cent, while sales to the rest of the world fell by slightly less.

The sharp downturn in incoming orders began at the start of the final quarter of 2008. By contrast, the industry’s sales remained high until December of that year, as a result of which the low monthly turnover figures in 2009 signalled a sharp decline throughout the year.

Output in core machinery manufacturing will decline from an all-time high of 5.6 billion euro recorded in 2008 to 3.9 billion.

The official foreign trade figures confirm the VDMA survey’s findings. They show that German exports of plastics and rubber machinery fell by 36.1 per cent in the period to November 2009. - The previous year’s record exports of course set a very high benchmark,” the Association Chairman said. “The slump in exports affected our major markets more or less equally - explained Ulrich Reifenhäuser. - The only bright spot was in Asia, with India recording robust growth which pushed it up to fourth place among countries supplied.

There are also positive signs from the countries of South East Asia and the Near and Middle East, where sales fell less sharply than elsewhere.

The 200 members of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association within the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) are the most important firms in the industry, accounting for over 90 per cent of its sales. German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers are world leaders with market shares of over 25 per cent in both output and exports.