FRANKFURT, Germany—The outlook for German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers is brighter than previously expected, with sales set to increase by 2 percent in 2016 and with another 2 percent rise anticipated for 2017, according to the VDMA.
The expected rise comes in the backdrop of forecasts by the German industry association that sales this year would “remain broadly unchanged from the very promising level seen in 2015.”
German machinery production in 2015 was up by 4.7 percent, and exports were 1.6 percent higher.
“But business then picked up markedly, prompting the positive forecast for 2016,” said VDMA chairman Ulrich Reifenhauser.
“Business with EU customers continues to develop well, as it did last year, and North America is gaining momentum again, said VDMA managing director Thorsten Kuehmann.
India, said Kuehmann, had “bottomed out” while there are also positive signs in all the countries of southeast Asia.
Top markets were China, Poland and Mexico followed by the U.S., while Russia remain under pressure with deliveries down by 15 percent.
Exports, predicted VDMA, are likely to grow by 1 percent this year and the year after.
In 2015, despite a rise in export volumes at $5.1 billion, Germany's share of the world plastics and rubber machinery declined to 22.2 percent, said VDMA.
“China is catching up, and the gap is narrowing: Chinese suppliers now account for 15.0 per cent of world exports,” said Ulrich Reifenhauser.
Domestically, growth outstripped exports in 2015.
“After appreciable growth in 2014, imports into Germany remained stuck at the previous year's level of $1.2 billion with Austria and Switzerland as main suppliers,” the VDMA added.