Slow growth in world trade compared with previous year
Current estimates of world trade in thermo process equipment made by the specialist German association VDMA indicate slight growth of about 3% for 2018, with a total trading volume of about €9.3 billion (provisional data). Among the major supplier countries, Japan recorded the highest growth, at slightly more than 30%, to an export volume of €608 million. Deliveries from Italy were slightly above the previous year’s figure at almost €1.3 billion. Exports from the USA stagnated at a volume of €809 million.
2018 – good business in Germany with a further slight increase in exports
Thanks to the boost provided by favourable conditions in the world economy, German thermo process equipment manufacturers experienced two years of growth in succession. While sales grew by 11% nominally in 2017, there was further significant growth of 33% in 2018. Last year, orders received were up by 8% on 2017. Production of thermo process equipment in Germany grew by 16% in 2018 to over €2.3 billion (provisional data), the second highest value after the result for 2011.
Against the backdrop of a positive mood in the domestic market, exports of thermo process equipment from Germany were slightly above the previous year’s figure (+4%) at a level of more than €1.8 billion. The sales indices of the sector also indicated a nominal increase of 52% in Germany.
China remains the largest market for thermo process equipment from Germany.
German exports to China reached a new five-year high last year, with growth of almost 13% (€286 million). In contrast, deliveries from Germany to the USA fell for the second year in succession (-17%) – even though the USA remained the second-largest customer country, at €133 million, followed by Italy, with a volume of €90 million, where equipment sales by the sector grew by 10%t. Exports to Russia fell in 2018 compared with the previous year (-26%). This was also the case in Turkey (-23%) and Mexico (-24%). In contrast, the sector reported significant growth in exports to Brazil (+50%), India (+38%), Canada (+129%) and Spain (+70%).
Sector expects sales to stagnate at a high level in 2019
VDMA organized a survey with participants from the thermo process technology industry. On the basis of the current situation, it is expected that the overall trend towards stagnation will be reinforced in 2019.
Photo: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann