VDMA: Past the Peak
After years of excellent growth and setting a production record in 2007, the German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers now seem to have passed the high point in the upward trend. According to the Association of German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers (VDMA), Frankfurt, Germany, orders for German machinery increased in 2007 as a whole and the first quarter of 2008. Received orders climbed to an unparalleled level. However, from January to June 2008, received orders fell back by 7 % compared to 2007.
Exports of rubber and plastics machinery grew vigorously in the first half year by 12.2 %, particularly in Asia and the EU countries. The backlog of orders and capacity utilization are still high, and once again sales in the current year will be higher than the previous year. However, the association is sticking to its prediction of 8 % orders increase for 2008 made last June, and is assuming that the industry will achieve sales of EUR 5.6 billion in core machine manufacturing. According to the VDMA, the industry will not be able to escape the downswing in many markets; the association is also reckoning on declining sales based on decreasing order receipts for 2009.
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