German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers expect sales to rise by four percent in real terms in the current year, with a further two percent anticipated for 2016.
The figures, released by the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association within the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), suggest that the predicted two percent increase in 2016 would see sales rise above the 7 billion euro mark for the first time.
“The Association predicted four percent growth for 2015 back in October last year. The figures for the last six months have confirmed that forecast,” commented Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the Association.
The year 2014 ended with output 1.6 percent lower and exports at around the previous year’s level (down 0.1 percent).
“Last year, business in Europe made up for declines in other sales regions,” explained Thorsten Kühmann, VDMA’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, says the VDMA, and, after years on a downward trajectory, accounted for an 18 percent 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,” continued Reifenhäuser. “After declining for a number of years, imports of plastics and rubber machinery by customers in Germany rose by an impressive 19.5 percent in 2014.”
The most recent VDMA figures show that German plastics and rubber machinery was exported to 156 countries around the world, including, for the first time, sales to the Maldives and the Marshall Islands.