Manufacturers of construction equipment and building material machinery well prepared for end of boom

- We were able to participate proportionally at this growth, while countries such as the USA, Japan and Great Britain lost market shares to other competitors - the Chinese in particular - Kemmann noticed.

Chinese companies were able to expand their global export activities significantly during the past five years and, with this, their global market share grew from two to six per cent during this period of time also. Chinese companies export particularly to Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and are currently trying to gain a foothold in Russia. According to Mr Kemmann, though, they have not yet been successful in gaining a considerable market share in Europe as well as in North America.

The general economic situation shows obvious signs of weakness. The Federation's association representing the construction equipment and building machinery industry therefore expects a decline in turnover for the entire industry in 2009 of 4.6 per cent to about 15.8 billion Euros. 10.7 billion Euros (loss of 7.5 per cent) of this for construction equipment and 5.1 billion Euros (increase of 2.2 per cent) for building material machinery. Looking at domestic and foreign markets separately, there is the following forecast: Domestic sales will decline by 13.8 per cent to 3.3 billion Euros and export sales will be declining also with a decrease by 1.8 per cent to 12.5 billion Euros. This forecast 2009 is based on the following assumptions:

Companies are currently experiencing a volume of orders which is much above average, even though cancellations of orders for construction machinery have been happening. For the entire industry, lead times have already become more normal.

The raw material processing as well as the building material machinery sector are less, or currently even not at all, affected by changes than the construction machinery industry. The situation is also good in the cement, lime and plaster sectors as well as with glass machinery.

Exchange rates are offsetting some disadvantages which German companies are facing. The European industry is currently enjoying a competitive advantage when it comes to prices due to the decreased Euro compared to the revalued US Dollar, the Yen and the Won: - It is currently not possible to say seriously whether this trend will last, but at the moment we profit from this situation - Kemmann stated.

Construction projects in the infrastructure area will remain stable globally, as these projects are generally all signed and sealed already at this point in time. The association expects that some countries, such as German for instance, will even drive these projects further now, especially to stimulate the economy.

Global demand for house building, for private and commercial use alike, particularly in the emerging nations, will stay as big as before. The industry is hoping that the consequences of the financial crises will not have too dampening an effect on the emerging countries.