Exports gain momentum

©chungking - stock.adobe.com

In the first half of 2017, the good order situation in many countries drove the export business of mechanical and plant engineering in Germany considerably.

  • VDMA: Mechanical engineering increased exports by 5.9 percent in the first half of the year
  • Biggest momentum from China; Europe continues to grow

In the first half of 2017, the good order situation in many countries drove the export business of mechanical and plant engineering in Germany considerably. According to preliminary calculations for the first six months of the current year, exports increased by a nominal 5.9 percent compared to the previous year. In the previous year, the half-year result saw a slight decline. “In many countries in the world, industries are being modernized or established. There is a huge demand for cutting-edge technology. Our mechanical engineering companies will benefit from this, even if political instabilities continue to delay some investments,” explained Dr. Ralph Wiechers, VDMA Chief Economist.

With an export increase of 22.6 percent, China provided the biggest momentum in the first half of 2017. “This is not exactly surprising, but it is still more than we expected,” said Wiechers. The expansionary Chinese policy also provided stimulus to other Asian countries, which was reflected in turn in German export success. Machinery exports to South Korea, for example, recorded an increase of 15.8 percent. “However, we expect that China will not be able to keep up this pace and that we will have to adjust to less dynamic business development,” warned Wiechers. Exports to the USA rose by 7.3 percent, while 25.5 percent more machines were delivered to neighboring Mexico.

Business with Russia gained fresh momentum in the first half of the year, with a 20.6 percent increase in exports to the country. “The export increase is mainly due to the stabilization of the ruble and a recovery effect. Russian companies have the money and political support to buy foreign capital goods and make those long overdue investments,” explained Wiechers.

India (7.5 percent), North Africa (6.8 percent) and Southeast Asia (4.4 percent) saw average growth rates. Europe, the largest sales market for German mechanical engineering companies, lagged behind in terms of global momentum. Euro countries recorded export growth of 2.7 percent, while in the EU as a whole, exports increased by 2 percent. “In Europe, we were able to record growth in the first half of 2016, unlike any other sales markets. So, we have a base effect. In addition, there are still statistical revisions to be made,” said the VDMA Chief Economist, putting the results into perspective. In the first half of the year, exports to the OPEC countries declined by 9 percent.

Do you have any questions? Hermann Steib, VDMA foreign trade expert, phone: +49 69 6603 1372, hermann.steib@vdma.org, would be delighted to answer them.

Downloads