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Plastics machinery sales to rise by four per cent in 2015

Plastics machinery sales to rise by four per cent in 2015
German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers expect sales to rise by four per cent in real terms in the current year, VDMA association claims. A two per cent increase is anticipated for 2016, taking sales above the 7 billion euro mark for the first time.

"The Association predicted four per cent growth for 2015 back in October last year. The figures for the last six months have confirmed that forecast," says Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the Association, explaining the trend. The year 2014 ended with output 1.6 per cent lower and exports at around the previous year's level (down 0.1 per cent).

Sales to customers abroad are forecast to grow by four per cent in the current year and by around two per cent in 2016. "Last year, business in Europe made up for declines in other sales regions,” reports Thorsten Kühmann, the Association's Managing Director. “At present things seem to have bottomed out in India and an upturn is in sight. Brazil and Mexico have also shown signs of recovery in the last few months. After pausing for breath in 2014, we expect the industry's two most important customer markets, China and the US, to recover with moderate rates of growth. Exports to Russia on the other hand are set to decline further. But we still expect the other sales markets in Eastern Europe to remain buoyant."

Orders received from customers in Germany recovered sharply last year and, after years on a downward trajectory, accounted for an 18 per cent increase in the order intake of German machinery manufacturers. Growth rates were appreciably higher than those of orders from abroad. "Our foreign competitors also benefited from growing demand in Germany," says Ulrich Reifenhäuser. "After declining for a number of years, imports of plastics and rubber machinery by customers in Germany rose by an impressive 19.5 per cent in 2014."

The most recent figures show that German plastics and rubber machinery was exported to 156 countries around the world, including for the first time to such exotic sales markets as the Maldives and the Marshall Islands. With export volumes unchanged from the previous year, the German share of growing world trade in plastics and rubber machinery fell slightly to 23.8 per cent. China follows far behind with a share of 12.9 per cent; however, Chinese export volumes include foreign deliveries by German manufacturers based in that country.