According to the Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau (VDMA) Germany was the second most important manufacturer of machinery and equipment worldwide in 2006. Exports reached a record high of 122.8 billion Euros. The number of machinery and equipment produced worldwide amounted to almost 1.3 billion Euros in 2006 which corresponds to an increase by 8.5 percent. The VDMA forecasts that 2007 is set to become another record year.
With a production volume of 180 billion Euros Germany for the first time came second in the global ranking of most important producers of equipment and machinery. With 174 billion Euros Japan came third. With a production volume of 271 billion Euros the USA are in top position while China ranked fourth with 150 billion Euros.
In 2006 German exports in the field of mechanical engineering increased by 15 percent and reached a record high of 122.8 billion Euros. Almost half of all the machinery (44.7%) was exported to the single European market. The USA remains the world´s biggest single market with a total market share of 10.7% and a growth of 13%. The markets in East- and Southeast Asia grew by 17.7% (2006: -1.9%). The Chinese market grew by 16.3% and became the second biggest export market ahead of France.
For some exports markets German mechanical engineering registered particularly high growth rates. Thus, exports to the United Arabian Emirates grew by 65.6%, to India by 63.7%, to Russia by 38.7% and to Korea by 34.1%.
The strong economic pick-up also lead to more German imports of machinery and equipment which increased by 19.1% to 43.8 billion Euros. The list of most important importers in this field is led by Switzerland. With a plus of 33.5% China advanced from rank 11 to 9.
Product piracy also increased over the past year. What is striking in the eyes of the VDMA is the trend of faking entire machines. Whereas one year ago the faking of such complete machines amounted to 43% the current percentage is 60% followed by spare parts and components with 42% and 41% respectively.