German plastics and rubber machinery sector grew by 5 per cent in 2015

German plastics and rubber…
German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers can look back over a good year in 2015. "Twelve months ago we predicted 4 per cent growth in industry sales, but with an actual rise of 5 per cent the forecast was in fact exceeded," said Ulrich Reifenhäuser, the Association's Chairman, who expressed his satisfaction with the result. "We now believe the trend will continue at the same high level in the year ahead." The industry therefore expects sales this year to top 7 billion euro for the first time.

Domestic sales down, foreign sales up

This year saw incoming orders from customers in Germany, which had weathered last year's storm well, decline owing to cyclical factors. In the period from January to October domestic orders were 10 per cent below the previous year's level.

At the same time, orders from abroad were up by 11 per cent. The euro area countries and the Rest of the World showed similar rates of growth with 12 and 11 per cent respectively. Overall, incoming orders showed a rise of 6 per cent year-on-year.

Deliveries to the EU 28 continue to rise

"From January to September 2015, German deliveries abroad showed a positive trend, up 2.2 per cent on the previous year," said Thorsten Kühmann, the Association's managing director. "The export trend is dominated by deliveries to the countries of the EU; German plastics and rubber machinery was in particular demand in the four biggest markets, Poland, Italy, Great Britain and France." German deliveries to Russia weakened again. On the other hand, North America with the US and Canada, Central America with Mexico, and South America with Brazil, Argentina and Columbia were on the credit side for German manufacturers.

Asian picture mixed

After several years of declining delivery volumes, India recorded strong growth, albeit from a low base; by contrast, there was a marked drop in exports to China. The figures for Japan and Taiwan were also down. In South East Asia, on the other hand, all the major markets, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, purchased more machinery from Germany than previously.

German, European and global sales will continue to grow

For the period 2015 to 2017 the Association expects the industry in Germany to show an average annual growth rate of 2.0 per cent, European machinery manufacturers to grow by 1.5 per cent and the global plastics and rubber machinery industry by 3.2 per cent.