By Bill Bregar, Plastics News
Frankfurt, Germany -- The value of the German machinery market will this year be down about 40 percent on last year's figures, according to Thorsten Kühmann, managing director of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association at VDMA, the German engineering federation.
He said the market has changed drastically from the boom year of 2007. Germany's machinery business stayed strong up until the fourth quarter of 2008, he added; then the bottom dropped out.
"The whole machinery sector in Germany is affected very, very strongly by the world economic crisis," Kühmann said. "I'm sure the whole branch will recover again whenever the whole economic situation worldwide becomes better again. We are still at a very low level. We don't presume that it's going to drop from that level, but we don't see a really sharp upswing now."
The recession prompted several trade associations representing processors, resin makers and machinery manufacturers to create a German Plastics Industry Federation. This includes VDMA's Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association, PlasticsEurope Deutschland and the German Plastics Converters Association.
The federation has called on the German government to make the country more attractive for investments, by cutting bureaucracy and regulations and boosting tax incentives for research and development.
"We are in a really difficult time right now in the plastics industry and we feel that at certain points, it's really important to pull together and to speak with one tongue," Kühmann said.