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'Subtle signs of recovery' – German Garment and Leather Technology

Nov '09
The German Garment and Leather Technology has felt subtle signs of recovery over the last few weeks. Between January and August 2009, the real drop in incoming orders was -26 %. "This places our sector slightly above the VDMA average and most other mechanical engineering sectors", says Tilo Ullmer, the association's chairman on this year's member meeting of the VDMA German Garment and Leather Technology Association, held in Baden-Baden.

The VDMA brings together the following sectors of garment and leather technology: sewing and garment machinery, machines for shoe and leather production, laundry and textile cleaning equipment and machines for the processing and finishing of technical textiles. The production volume in year 2008 was 1.005 Million Euro.

China and Turkey as leading markets drop significantly
The German garment and leather technology was affected in 2008 by a global crisis amongst its customers. "For almost two years, the leading markets for the garment and footwear industry, such as China and Turkey, have seen their income drop by 30% or more. Structural problems in the key markets of our customers were then compounded by the global financial crisis", added Ullmer. The managing director of the association, Elgar Straub, added, "All our competitors face the same problems, but we believe that German suppliers will come out of the crisis stronger." He isn't just pinning his faith on Germany's good access to advanced technology but also its market leadership in the area of environmentally friendly and energy-efficient products, for which there is increasing demand. But German manufacturers are also benefiting from increasingly stringent environmental legislation, in China for example, which has impacted positively on German manufacturers of laundry and cleaning machines over the last few years.

Germany as the fourth world exporter
Germany defended fourth place in the rankings of the most important supplier countries for garment and leather technology in 2008, with an export volume of Euro 773 million. The industry recorded a drop compared to 2007 of 13.2 per cent (Euro 891 million). The largest export volume in 2008 was achieved with sewing and garment technology (Euro 394 million).

China again won the battle to top the ranking of sewing and garment machinery exporters in 2008. In 2008, China exported garment and leather technology worth Euro 1.618 billion: this is 0.6 per cent less than the previous year (Euro 1.628 billion in 2007). Sewing and garment technology alone accounted for 1.069 billion. Italy's export of garment and leather technology in 2008 stood at Euro 843 million, which is 12.4 per cent less than the previous year (Euro 963 million in 2007). The strongest sector in Italy in 2008 was again laundry and textile cleaning technology, with an export volume of Euro 368 million. In 2008, South Korea exported garment and leather technology worth Euro 821 million, 0.2 per cent less than in 2007 (Euro 823 million). Korea's biggest export is laundry and textile cleaning technology, and in 2008 exports were worth Euro 647 million. With an export volume of Euro 610 million, Japan defended fifth place in the world rankings of supplier countries for garment and leather technology. The largest export volume in 2008 was achieved with sewing and garment technology at Euro 580 million.

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