Following sustained high levels of sales with growth between 2012 and 2013 and stagnation in 2014, German foundry machinery manufacturers experienced a fall of 6 percent in sales in 2015. Orders received stagnated. On average for all regions, orders received fell by 1 percent last year. Countries outside the Eurozone represented a positive exception, with orders up by 12 percent compared with the previous year. In line with overall developments in the sector, the production volume was 5.4 percent below the previous year’s figure. Foundry machinery with a total value of €1,080 million was produced.
“In 2016, we expect a sales downturn in the foundry machinery sector. Sales could fall within the single-digit range by up to 5 percent. As in previous years, results may be better for suppliers in the nonferrous metal castings sector,” said Dr. Timo Würz, Managing Director of the VDMA Foundry Machinery specialist association.
Single-digit growth in exports in 2015
On the basis of the export data of the five largest supplier countries (Japan, China, Italy, Germany and South Korea) which once again sold more than 4 percent more machines and plants last year, experts estimate that world trade also grew in the low single-digit range. As in the previous year, German exports of foundry machinery grew by almost 4 percent in 2015. The total value of exports from Germany in 2015 recorded in customs statistics reached €157 million* in 2015. Whereas there was a slight fall in exports to China from a high level (down 3 percent), there was above-average growth in deliveries to Mexico with a rise of 189 percent. An upward trend was also observed in exports to Eastern Europe (Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) as well as to Austria.
All in all, German foundry machinery suppliers delivered machinery with a total value that was about 25 percent higher than in the previous year to the EU 28 countries. There was a slight fall in exports to the USA (down 5 percent) and a severe fall in exports to Russia (down 58 percent).
Upward trend in aluminium castings for the automotive industry continues
Although iron and steel castings continue to account for the lion’s share of global volume, there has been a steady shift towards non-ferrous metal castings over the past few years. In particular, growth in aluminium castings for the automotive industry has been above-average.
“In addition to continuing geopolitical risks throughout the world, manufacturers face a reluctance to invest by foundries in markets where income from raw materials has declined. The only exception is the automotive industry. Despite difficult conditions, German foundry machinery manufacturers continue to forge ahead with innovations with a view to strengthening their international positioning on this basis,” Würz explained.
*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.
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