Metallurgical equipment manufacturers are cautiously optimistic about 2023

The metallurgical machinery and plant engineering sectors represented by VDMA Metallurgy were cautiously optimistic in the current trade association business survey and expect sales growth in the low single- and double-digit range in 2023.

Pressemitteilung | Reading time: min | Bildquelle: VDMA
  • Production and exports increased by a fifth on average for the industry in the first quarter of 2023 - with disparate developments in the individual segments. 
  • Sales expectations 2023: Foundry machinery approx. plus 5 percent, metallurgical and rolling mill equipment approx. plus 15 percent, and for thermoprocessing technology in the range of plus 10 percent with overall increased forecast uncertainty. 
  • VDMA Metallurgy presents a comprehensive programme on decarbonization and future technologies at the leading international trade fairs Gifa Metec Thermprocess Newcast in Düsseldorf. 

In 2022, the production volume* of the three subsectors in Germany increased by a good 19 percent in total value. However, while manufacturers of metallurgical and rolling mill equipment and thermoprocessing equipment were able to exceed 2019 volumes, foundry machinery production is below pre-pandemic year volumes. Compared with the previous year, metallurgical and rolling mill equipment production increased by 34 percent, on a weak basis, to 1.45 billion euros. Production of thermoprocessing technology exceeded the 2 billion mark for the first time since 2018, rising to 2.18 billion euros (up 20 percent). By contrast, the value of foundry machinery produced in 2022 was a good 5 percent lower than in the previous year (approx. 652 million euros). 

Against the backdrop of geopolitical turmoil and high inflation, export growth in the metallurgical plant engineering sectors remained subdued overall in the first quarter of 2023. In detail, however, the industry trends moved in different directions during this period. 

Exports of metallurgical plant and rolling mill technology returned to pre-crisis levels, rising by 34 percent between January and March 2023. The top target market in this period was India. In 2022, exports of metallurgical plant and rolling mill technology from Germany had already increased by almost 15 percent year-on-year (628 million euros). 

Thermoprocess technology exports increased slightly between January and March 2023 (plus 4 percent), after missing the previous year's figure by 3 percent in 2022 (1.67 billion euros). From January to March, the USA and China played the main role in exports - with opposing trends (plus 33 / minus 43 percent). 

There were no signs of a turnaround in foundry machinery exports** from Germany in the 1st quarter of the current year. Year-on-year, exports were down by a quarter. This development is based on strongly diverging market trends: While exports to Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Hungary and, outside Europe, China and Vietnam increased, exports to important target markets such as the USA and Austria declined. As in the previous year, the EU27 countries purchased less foundry technology from Germany (2022: minus 5 percent). 

* Production and export figures are provisional and may be revised over the next few months. 
** The nomenclature of official statistics means that it is not possible to give an overall figure for foundry machinery exports. The areas of “sand preparation systems for foundries” and “production of moulds” cannot be precisely defined in the export statistics and are not included in the data stated. 

Industry expectations for 2023: 

Order entries by foundry machinery manufacturers in the 1st quarter 2023, at plus 5 percent adjusted for price, developed better than the mechanical engineering average. Orders from non-euro countries made a major contribution to this trend. In 2022, orders had declined by 11 percent on a price-adjusted prior-year basis, which was below pre-crisis levels. 

The foundry technology participants in the current trade association business survey expect sales growth in the mid-single digits for the entire year 2023. 

With a result of plus 1 percent in price-adjusted orders received, thermoprocessing technology is also one of the above-average performing sectors measured against the overall mechanical engineering sector in the 1st quarter of 2023. The year 2022 had closed with a minus of 5 percent in order intake. 

In the current trade association economic survey, the participants from the thermoprocessing technology sector expect sales growth of around 10 percent for 2023. 

According to the trade association's business survey, the participating manufacturers of metallurgical and rolling mill equipment expect sales growth in the low double-digit range (approx. 15 percent) in the current year. Yet, order intake could stagnate at a high level. However, this is against the background of substantial order backlogs. 

Metallurgical engineering at 'Bright World of Metals' 2023 - 

Comprehensive forum programme around decarbonization and future technologies 

In Hall 9 Stand D74, VDMA Metallurgy, partly together with the Forschungsgemeinschaft Industrieofenbau (FOGI), is organising an extensive program of lectures and discussions as part of the ecoMetals and Thermprocess Forum 2023 from June 12 to 15, 2023. Research, science, and technology suppliers will present solutions for the industrial energy transition. 

To kick things off, the "Green thermoprocess technologies" theme day on June 12 will highlight the potential of thermoprocess technology research and innovations for the numerous challenges ahead. On June 13 and 14, industry experts will speak on the full range of the most pressing issues and key development drivers in thermoprocess technology and its applications. 

On June 15, VDMA Metallurgy will present a new format with the "ecoMetals Forum Metals4Sure": the moderated sessions will focus on the comprehensive decarbonization know-how of metallurgical machinery and plant engineering and the solutions with which the industry is helping to make proven metal production and processing increasingly sustainable. 

Participation in the events is free of charge for trade show visitors. 

Any questions? 

Dr. Timo Würz and Ines Polak, VDMA Metallurgy, will be pleased to answer them. At the ‚Bright World of Metals‘ we are located in Hall 9 Stand C54.