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Baileigh Industrial vertical Bandsaw Model BSV-16 #78537
Baileigh Industrial vertical Bandsaw Model BSV-16
Country of Manufacture Taiwan
Table Size 603 mm
Baileigh Industrial vertical Bandsaw Model BSV-16 Country of Manufacture Taiwan Table Size 603 mm ...
Jet Machinery Ltd

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VDW cuts German machine tool production forecast

Posted on 03 Jun 2022 and read 925 times
VDW cuts German machine tool production forecastDr Wilfried Schäfer, VDW executive director

Orders received by the German machine tool industry in the first quarter of 2022 were 44% up on the same period last year both from within Germany and from abroad. Dr Wilfried Schäfer, executive director of the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW), said: “Orders for our industry continued to flow in during the first quarter of this year and were only 8% below the figures posted in the record year of 2018.”

However, the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war are expected to become more pronounced in the coming months, he warned. This is evidenced firstly by the most recent growth rates, which have been significantly lower. Secondly, the supply bottlenecks remain the biggest problem and are far from being resolved. He added: “This issue will be with us for quite a few months.”

Supply bottlenecks are also a main reason why production continues to lag far behind orders. In the first quarter, production rose by a disproportionately low 6%, and because of this, the VDW has cut its production forecast for the current year from 14% to 8% growth.

Dr Schäfer explained: “At present, the new machines are simply ending up in storage, as many of them cannot be put into operation because of missing components.” These machines do not appear in the production figures until they are loaded onto trucks or ships.

China is currently the source of a great deal of uncertainty and concern. The lockdowns in numerous major cities and industrial centres are preventing customers from taking delivery of machines, and service personnel from travelling to see their customers.

Meanwhile, as with production, there is currently little momentum behind exports. There was a slight increase of 1% in the first quarter. Europe and the Americas posted slight declines of 2% and 1% respectively, while Asia has grown by 8%, with Central and South Asia and Southeast Asia growing more strongly than East Asia. At 4%, exports to China, the largest sales market, grew only moderately at the beginning of the year. China accounts for around 19% of German exports, while the US market takes a much smaller share of 13%.

Exports to the USA fell by 6% in the first quarter, while Italy which ranks third among the 10 most important sales markets, accounted for both an increase and also a share of 6%. After the poor performance of the previous year, business with Switzerland bounced back, with 70% in the first quarter. This returns the country to fourth place in the rankings.

Exports to Austria were lower compared with the very strong first quarter of 2021 and exports to Poland were also down slightly on the previous year’s level. The Netherlands figures remain buoyant, with the country taking 11% more machine tools in the first quarter than last year, while France has continued its downward slide, falling by 18%. Mexico and Turkey complete the top 10, posting sizeable double-digit growth rates of 27 and 26% respectively.

Total imports have grown by 20%, driven by Switzerland, Japan and China, whose shipments have seen significant increases.

Dr Schäfer added: “All in all, the economic uncertainties facing our industry remain considerable going forward. A prolonged war in Ukraine, further soaring prices for energy, logistics and raw materials, and a complete embargo on oil and gas supplies from Russia will have a significant impact.”

He concluded: “Nevertheless, the high levels of orders currently on the books are easing the situation. There is therefore a chance that some of this year's downturn in growth will turn into sales figures in the coming year. International machine tool consumption is estimated to rise by 10% this year, which could also help matters.”