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Textile machinery sees 51% drop in import orders
20
Oct '08
In less than ten month the German textile machinery industry has experienced a downturn in incoming orders hardly conceivable quite recently. In the period from January to July 2008 altogether 42 percent less orders have been registered than in the same period 2007.

For spinning machinery the drop even totalled 51 percent. Due to this bad order situation, several companies already had to take drastic measures such as staff reductions and short-time work. "Business with textile machinery always has undergone cyclical fluctuations, but what happens actually is the strongest slump since World War II," states Fritz P. Mayer, Chairman of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association and Managing Partner of Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH, Obertshausen.

There is no sign at all that the sector will recover soon. The uncertainty on the finance markets on the one hand and the dependence of the textile industry on state subsidies in many parts of the world on the other hand, impede a well-founded prognosis. The VDMA Textile Machinery Association had to correct its sales forecast really dramatically to minus 25 percent.

With an export quota of 95 percent, the German textile machinery industry is one of the highest export-oriented branches within the engineering industry. In 2007, the sector exported machinery and accessories worth 3.8 billion Euros and saw the most successful year of this decade, so the bar was set high. Between January and July 2008, the overall exports declined by 12 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

This comparatively moderate downturn is mainly due to fulfilment of orders placed the year before. The particularly dramatic drop of exports to important markets such as Turkey (minus 46 percent) and India (minus 23 percent), however, show how missing orders affect production and delivery.

VDMA Textile Machinery Association

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