Machinery: Slump in 2009 - Rally in 2010

For the German construction equipment and building material machinery industry sales fell in 2009 nominally by 43 per cent to 9.5 billion euros.  "2009 has been the most difficult year ever for our industry," Dr Christof Kemmann, Chairman of the German Association for construction equipment and building material machinery (VDMA), said at a board meeting of the association.

In 2009 the building material machinery’s turnover went down by 51 per cent to 5.3 billion euros compared to the previous year. This was true for large-scale machines especially and much more than for compact machines; only tunnelling machines were not part of this negative trend at all. With construction equipment the decrease in sales was a little less dramatic – it fell by 18 per cent to 4.2 billion euros. In both industries, the amount of incoming orders also dropped clearly compared to 2008, with construction equipment by 46 per cent, with building material machinery by 58 per cent. Here also, the different parts of the industries were affected in different ways. Earth moving and road construction machinery saw a more stable demand by the end of the year again, whereas manufacturers of concrete technology and building material machinery do not yet see an upward trend.

Export quota fell
The construction equipment and building material machinery industry is highly dependent on export and therefore is currently fighting the loss of foreign markets. Foreign sales for the entire industry fell by 46 per cent compared to 2008 year – domestic sales remained more stable and only fell by 33 per cent. For the first time in a number of years, the export quota for the entire industry dropped and now is 66 per cent for construction equipment and 79 per cent for building material machinery.

Rally on the horizon
After the slump throughout the previous year, the manufacturers of construction machinery are expecting a slight increase in turnover by five per cent in 2010. Manufacturers belonging to the building material machinery are assuming to see another decrease by ten per cent in turnover compared to 2009, with different effects on the different areas of the industry.
In 2010, the industry puts its hope on its traditional markets in Europe and, in particular, on regions of growth in the Far East, especially China and India. But South America and North Africa have proven to be stimulating as well.