"We don't have enough components and material, and what is available is getting more and more expensive. The soaring purchase prices are a major problem for manufacturers whose order calculations for larger projects are now turning out to be much too low," explains Markus Hüllmann, Chairman of the VDMA Woodworking Machinery, at the 2022 Members' Meeting in Weimar. "This is hitting some companies hard. And on top of that, some machines are not even finished due to missing components, or delivery to the customer is then stuck due to various logistics problems."
Good year 2021Nevertheless, the trade association is satisfied with the past year. In 2021, the declines of the weak first Corona year 2020 were more than made up for. Production rose by 17 per cent to 3.4 billion euros. Exports grew by 8 per cent to 2.3 billion euros, clearly outpaced by the growth of the domestic market, which exceeded the billion euro threshold for the first time. Consequently, the export ratio fell to 68 per cent.
In terms of exports, the two top markets, China and the USA, are tied at around 260 million euros, after China purchased 18 percent less German woodworking machinery compared to the previous year, while the USA purchased 28 percent more. Austria (+24 percent), Poland (+3 percent) and France (+9 percent) follow in third to fifth place.
Exports to the region of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus accounted for around 5 percent of total exports in recent years. The foreseeable loss of a considerable share in this group of countries will be easy for the majority of German manufacturers to cope with; however, a few are affected more than average here - especially equipment suppliers in the primary processing stage. The current corona lockdown in Shanghai and other regions of the People's Republic of China, where a number of manufacturers have production facilities, is likely to slow down this important market and also exacerbate the bottleneck in the supply of electronic components. In terms of exports, there are therefore several question marks behind important countries, for which, however, replacements can be found in other regions, at least in part.