The European plastics and rubber machinery industry achieved remarkable rates of growth in 2010 and 2011 and is on course to match the 2008 record.
"Our industry recovered very well from the economic and financial crisis in the countries associated with EUROMAP; this year's production volume in the core machinery business is expected to reach almost 11 billion Euro," said Bernhard Merki, the European federation's newly re-elected President at the press conference, held on the occasion of the triennial General Assembly.
"The three-year period between the previous and this year's assembly was undoubtedly one of the most turbulent since EUROMAP was founded in 1964. The industry was hit by a downturn, the full force of which could not have been predicted when we last met. But the months that followed taught us a number of lessons. In late 2009, orders started to pick up again - albeit from a very low level - and this upswing continued during the whole of 2010 and well into 2011. Looking at new incoming order curves between 2008 and 2011 highlights just how much of a roller coaster ride this has been", explained Bernhard Merki.
Rates of growth as regards global output and exports of plastics and rubber machinery were even higher. The increase was mainly attributable to Chinese manufacturers setting the pace in terms of output. Japanese competitors, who had been badly hit in 2009, emerged from the crisis very quickly and in surprisingly good shape. The upswing in Asia's industry and emerging economies caused EUROMAP's share in global output and exports to fall back slightly.
EUROMAP's newly confirmed Vice-President, Luciano Anceschi, highlighted another aspect which may become a real asset for machinery manufacturers in Europe. "There is a genuine global trend towards more sustainability. Saving energy as well as protecting resources is playing an increasingly important and pivotal role not only in Europe but in all major economic areas across the world. In order to help its industry meet the demands from all parties involved, EUROMAP supports the manufacturers in the member countries with studies and recommendations. Being prepared may just give our industry the edge."
The trend in 2012 will be for new order income to fall back, but sales will be stable due, partly to a favourable order backlog that has built up. China has been the main driver of demand in 2010 and 2011 and is becoming a major power in machinery production. Euromap estimates global core machinery production was €23.35 bln in 2010, with the share of machinery companies based in China rising to 29.3% from 23.5% in 2009. As per europeanplasticsnews.com, in terms of exports to China in 2010, Germany maintained a similar share of the Chinese market at 28.4%. But China’s neighbours benefited most from the country’s rising demand, with the 2010 market share increasing to 27.9% (from 25.0% in 2009) for Japanese exports, 12.0% (8.5%) for Taiwanese exports, and 5.9% (5.7%) for South Korean exports. China is also fast ascending the table of world machinery exporters, passing Italy into third place for the first time in 2010.
Germany is still the world’s biggest exporter with a 23.7% market share in 2010 (down from 24.6% in 2009), followed by Japan 13.1% (10.8%), China 10.6% (9.1%), Italy 9.6% (11.3%) and USA 6.7% (7.5%).