DUESSELDORF, Germany—European plastics and rubber machinery makers are benefiting from a continuing shift to more high-end production in China, according to Karlheinz Bourdon, vice president of Euromap, the European umbrella organization for the region's main national plastics and rubber machinery associations.
“This trend is something we have observed for the last two years at least,” Bourdon said at K2016. “It is a stable trend because it is not only European companies starting production in China and buying European machinery, for example, but also Chinese domestic companies. They want to show to their customers that (they use) high-end machinery.”
Bourdon noted that “high-end is bigger than the low-end market: not in terms of the number of machine produced but in dollars and euros.”
Euromap estimates that between 2016-18, global sales of plastics and rubber machinery are expected to grow by an average of 3.4 percent, with China as the main growth driver.
In 2015, Euromap countries accounted for 47 percent of world exports, while China's share reached 15 percent, following a surge in exports, new figures released by the industry body at K2016 also show.
German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers, meanwhile, are on track to achieve growth of 2 percent growth both this year and next, slightly above the level forecast for the European sector as a while.
“This forecast means that the industry in the member countries of Euromap will continue to grow,” according to Luciano Anceschi, president of Euromap.
Between 2005-15, sales in Euromap member countries grew 46 percent to 13.5 billion euro—lagging the 83 percent global growth in the same period. At the same time, exports from Euromap countries rose by 52 percent to 10 billion euro.
“Here, the European growth rate was only slightly below the global increase of 56 percent. For us, Europeans, the whole world is our market, whereas in the last decade China was still predominantly serving its own market,” Bourdon adds.
Euromap member companies have combined sales of around 13.5 billion euro—a 40 percent share of the worldwide production volume. Almost 75 percent of the European made production is shipped to worldwide destinations.
But the group concluded by advising the industry to Forget about “outdated” terms such as '‘emerging markets" and "developed countries."
"Markets are shifting,” Bourdan said. "Business is shaped by individual companies, many of whom play on a global field and set their standards worldwide.”