Sharp increase in new orders for German plastics and rubber machinery

Sharp increase in new orders for German plastics and rubber machinery
VDMA: German plastics and rubber machinery takes centre stage with remarkable half-yearly results.

There was a sharp increase in new orders for German plastics and rubber machinery in the first half of 2010. “No one could have foreseen the 85 per cent jump in orders recorded by the industry in the first six months of the year; it is a truly remarkable performance that gives grounds for optimism,” Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association, was pleased to note. “Incoming orders have grown rapidly every month since September 2009 and actually passed the 100 per cent mark in June 2010.” Orders from customers within Germany were up by 26 per cent, while demand from abroad grew by 117 per cent. Orders from the euro area showed an increase of 51 per cent.

“The rapid growth achieved, albeit from last year’s extremely low base, bears witness to a tremendous dynamism and success rate in the industry,” added Ulrich Reifenhäuser. The volume of orders in hand has expanded appreciably and now stands at 6.3 months, compared with just 4 months this time last year.

In the period from January to June 2010, sales were three per cent below the previous year’s total. “The relatively high level of domestic sales during the same period last year explains the 23 per cent decline this time around,” said Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director of the VDMA Association. Sales to customers abroad, on the other hand, rose by seven per cent, with those to the euro area up by four per cent. “In the light of the marked rise in incoming orders, we expect sales to grow by 11 per cent by the end of the year,” added Thorsten Kühmann.

Having risen steeply the business climate index for plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers is in positive territory again. Demand for German machinery is up very sharply in all sales regions. The actual development has been a great deal better than member firms were expecting as recently as January.

There is a sense of optimism in the industry about how the order position for all customer regions is likely to develop in the second half of 2010. The number of firms complaining of a lack of orders has fallen by two thirds, and the rounds of job cuts implemented from the first half of 2009 have tailed off markedly in the first half of 2010.

“That is an ideal scenario ahead of K 2010, which will be held in Düsseldorf from 27 October to 3 November this year,” said Ulrich Reifenhäuser. “German manufacturers are looking to the leading international trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry for confirmation that the growth rates of the last few months are not simply the result of pent-up demand but reflect a solid volume of business that is set to stabilise based on regional cycles.”