Order intake in the German plastics and rubber machinery industry in the first quarter of 2022 fell significantly compared to the same period last year (-27%). In the same period, turnover grew by only 3% compared to the previous-year period. On the one hand, this was down to a base effect, as the first quarter of last year was exceptionally good due to high demand in the packaging and medical sectors, and the other factor at play is that it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to quickly process the high number of pre-orders and convert them into sales.
"First and foremost, there is the poor availability of materials," explained Thorsten Kühmann (picture on the right), Managing Director of the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association. “In addition, as a result of the Ukraine war and the strict zero-covid policy in China, many factors such as logistics problems and greater uncertainty in the market are having a negative impact on business”.
Consequently, the trade association will no longer adhere to its original forecast of the beginning of 2022, when a growth figure of 5 to 10% still seemed realistic for the current year. "Due to the ongoing developments on the procurement market, we only expect a sideways movement or, in the best case, a slight increase in turnover for 2022 - despite full order books. We expect a development of zero to 2%", is how Kühmann described the outlook.