2007 was yet another successful year for international trade in machines and equipment which grew by 11.7%. “German exports increased by 10.6%”, said Manfred Wittenstein who is chairman of the German association for mechanical and plant engineering (VDMA). This places Germany on top of the list of the world’s most important exporting countries of such products.
Global trade in mechanical engineering products reached a volume of 719 billion Euros in the year 2007 (in 2006: 644 billion Euros, in 2005: 566 billion Euros) and therefore increased for the fourth time in a row. German manufacturers once again became export world champion with their share amounting to 18.9% (135.8 billion Euros) of global trade, followed by the USA with 11.8% (85 billion Euros) and Japan accounting for 10.8% (78 billion Euros). Italy ranked fourth with a volume of 9.2% of global trade (66 billion Euros).
Mechanical engineers from China who in the year 2005 for the first time surpassed France and Great Britain increased their business by 31.8% in 2007 to a current world market share of 7.2% (52 billion Euros) and rank 5th in the list of the world’s most important mechanical engineers. They are followed by France with a world market share of 4.6% (33 billion Euros), Great Britain with 4.1% (30 billion Euros), the Netherlands with 3.3% (24 billion Euros), South Korea with 2.9% (20.5 billion Euros) and Belgium/Luxembourg (2.7% and 19.4 billion Euros).
In particularly well developed exports to those countries which are benefiting from a boom due to their raw materials. Thus, the Russian market grew by 35%, that in the Middle East by 20% and in South America by 19%. Also remarkable is the performance of the Indian market which grew by 26%.
German mechanical and plant engineering is very successful in many of the several subcategories of this line of industry. Thus, German companies are leading in 18 of the 33 internationally comparable branches of mechanical engineering. Very big market shares were for instance registered by manufacturers of purification systems (37.8%), in the field of printing and paper technologies (33.5%) or suppliers of oil-hydraulic and pneumatic components in the field of fluidics (31%).
The USA are leading with regard to mining equipment (global market share: 39.1%). Japan is number one in productronics (40.7%) while Italy is top when it comes to equipment for roller and metallurgical plants (27.5%).
Chinese manufacturers have already conquered the top positions in seven branches of global trade in mechanical engineering: safes (28.9%), in clothing and leather processing technologies (25.5%) as well as equipment for fire fighters (20.5%), welding technology (20.3%), ventilation technology (16.8%), controls and instruments (16.0%) as well as elevators and escalators (14.9%).