Decrease in exports to India for German printing and paper technology manufacturers

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The German printing and paper technology industry looks back on a weak 2013 business year. The sales volume of the total industry decreased by eight per cent compared to 2012. The order intake fell ten per cent. “Our cautiously positive expectations have not come true,” said Dr. Markus Heering, managing director of the Printing and Paper Technology Association of VDMA, at the annual press conference of his association in Frankfurt.

According to Heering, the weak business development was due to the declining demand from the BRIC countries. Exports to China fell 12.5 per cent while the decrease of exports to India was unexpectedly high as well. Exports of paper technology decreased by four fifth. Exports of paper converting machines were 34 per cent and of printing technology 19 per cent below the level of the previous year. India fell out of the top ten of the export markets in all sectors. Business in Brazil and Russia also largely fell short of expectations.

The development in the markets of the paper technology, paper converting technology and printing technology sectors were different. Sales with machines, systems and components for papermaking rose by 14 per cent. “This is a basic effect after the considerable sales decline in 2012,” Heering explained. Orders received in this sector declined by 21 per cent.

As regards printing technology, sales were ten per cent lower than the year before. The order intake also decreased by nine per cent. The development of the technologies was different: The demand for web offset printing presses dropped clearly. For sheetfed offset, the situation is stable, while the demand for flexo and gravure printing presses rose.

The 2013 sales of paper converting machines also went down 14 per cent. The order intake decreased slightly (-4%). The globalisation trend continued. While exports to EU countries declined, those to North, Central and South America as well as North Africa and the Middle East rose.

Since 3D printing is of great relevance as a cross-cutting topic for different sectors of the engineering industry, the VDMA has decided to set up a Working Group Additive Manufacturing. In future, it will bring together all parties concerned from all parts of the value chain – manufacturers of 3D printing systems as well as industrial users, material developers and representatives of research and science. They wish to join forces in order to increase the huge technological and economic potential of additive manufacturing methods in industrial applications.

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