Successful 2016 for German Plastics and Rubber Machinery Industry
According to the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association within the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers can look back over the past year with great satisfaction. 2016 as a whole saw substantial growth in sales, continuing the positive trend of the past few years. "At four percent, growth is actually higher than the two percent originally anticipated,” says Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association.
German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers’ exports to the US, already at a very high level, strengthened further. In the period from January to December 2016, sales of plastics and rubber machinery to America amounted to EUR 774 million, an increase of 7.6 %t. The US therefore not only maintained its leading position among export markets, but also increased its lead over second-placed China. At EUR 629 million, German exports to China continued the trend of recent years, being down 3.6 % in 2016. However, the sharp increase in VDMA members’ output produced in the country itself shows that China is still an important sales market. The marked rise in VDMA members’ exports from China also contributes to the drop in direct exports from Germany to that country.
While Mexico ranked third among the most important countries buying German plastics and rubber machinery with exports up by an impressive 51.9 % to EUR 255 million German deliveries of plastics and rubber machinery to Russia shrank for the third year in succession in 2016. In the period from January to December 2016 they amounted to EUR 86 million uro, down 36.3 % on the previous year. However, the appreciable recovery in the Russian packaging sector as a direct consequence of Russian food sanctions suggests that exports of plastics and rubber machinery will pick up in 2017, since foodstuffs produced in Russia will need film or plastics packaging to preserve them. German exports to the Russian food products and packaging machinery sector were already up as 2016 drew to a close, indicating that sales to Russia have bottomed out.
Optimistic Outlook for 2017
The positive trend in German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturing will continue in the current year too. Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director of the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association, expects German manufacturers’ sales to rise by 2 %, with global growth set to reach 3 %.
VDMA Fachverband für Kunststoff- und Gummimaschinen
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