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Strong demand for German machine tools

June 2017

Orders received by the German machine tool industry in the first quarter of 2017 were six per cent up on the previous year. Domestic demand rose by two per cent, while overseas orders grew by eight per cent.

"Orders received by the German machine tool industry have therefore been stronger than expected," said Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director, VDW (German Machine Tool Builders' Association), commenting on the result.

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer

Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director, VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association)

According to VDW figures, international demand remains consistently high. The euro countries represent a reliable market for German machine tools, it said. There was a disproportionately high increase of 23 per cent in orders for machine tools from EU countries in the first quarter, in comparison to the same period last year.

"The increase in demand from the key Chinese market is now broader-based," reported Schäfer. Orders rose last year by more than 20 per cent, primarily due to large international automotive industry projects in China. The strong development has continued, however, in the first quarter of 2017.

There was a 13 per cent increase in metal forming technology orders. This rise in demand came from Germany and overseas. Machining equipment orders, which represent about 70 per cent of the total, only rose by three per cent. The main source of growth here was overseas markets, which posted an increase of six per cent. Domestic demand, in contrast, fell by four per cent.

“The German machine tool industry continues to perform stably and at a high level, undeterred by the many crises and uncertainties affecting different parts of the world," said VDW Executive Director, Schäfer.

The German machine tool industry ranks among the five largest specialist groupings in the mechanical engineering sector. It provides production technology for metalworking applications in all branches of industry. In 2016, with around 69,900 employees (annual average for 2016, firms with more than 50 staff), the sector produced machines and services worth around 15.2 billion euros.


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