Double-digit drop in exports in the Corona crisis year
The global Corona crisis has also led to high export losses for machinery and plant manufacturers. In 2020, machinery and equipment worth 160 billion euros was exported from Germany - 12 percent less than in the previous year.
Strongest decline in exports in the second quarter
"The second quarter of 2020 was the height of the Corona crisis for machinery and equipment manufacturers. Many companies faced unexpectedly severe outages on the supply and demand side. Supply chains were temporarily disrupted, and customers postponed or even cancelled orders at short notice. However, the developments in the last few months of 2020 are encouraging: the export year 2021 will be better and bring growth, even if the pre-crisis level will not yet be achieved" Wiechers explained.
Head-to-head race between the US and Chinese sales markets
"Germany's lead as the world's largest exporter of machinery and equipment is likely lost."
Poland among the top 5 sales markets for machinery and equipment
Exports to EU countries (68 billion euros) last year were 15.2 percent below the previous year's level, a worse result than overall exports. The EU countries took a total of 42.5 percent of all machinery exports from Germany. To France, the number three in the export ranking, the companies supplied machinery and equipment worth 10.6 billion euros (minus 15.2 percent). In the export business with Italy, the mechanical engineering companies recorded a minus of 18.1 percent to 6.8 billion euros. Poland, which has now climbed to fifth place in the ranking, took in machinery and equipment worth 6.8 billion euros (down 9.9 per cent) from Germany, overtaking both the Netherlands (6.8 billion euros, down 11.2 per cent) and the UK (6.0 billion euros, down 20.5 per cent). The United Kingdom dropped two places to eighth place due to the hard lockdown, but mainly as a result of the Brexit.
Heterogeneous export development in mechanical engineering sectors
A photo of VDMA chief economist Dr. Ralph Wiechers can be found here.
A video with VDMA Chief Economist Dr. Ralph Wiechers on the export statistics 2020 can be found on our homepage.