GERMANY, Frankfurt. In 2017, the production of food processing and packaging machinery rose by 4.8% to a record level of more than €14 bn. The prospects for the current year remain positive.
For manufacturers of food processing machines and packaging machines this past year was a successful one. "Not only have we achieved a new record in machine production, we have also moved up from rank five to four in the ranking of the 34 mechanical engineering branches," says Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association.
Packaging machinery production grew by 3% to €6.6 bn., of which €2.2 bn. were taken in by beverage packaging machinery.
In food machinery, the individual subsectors showed quite different dynamics. The largest sector, meat processing machines, grew by 1.6% reaching €1.1 bn. and superseding the already high level of the previous year.
German exports of food processing machinery and packaging machinery rose to around €8.5 bn. in 2017. This was an increase of 1.6% over the already high level of the previous year, with the individual sub-sectors developing very differently. With an export share of around 84%, the food processing and packaging machinery manufacturers were well above the average export ratio of the total engineering sector, which reached around 78%.
The prospects for 2018 are good. The industry continues to benefit from the growing global demand for processed and packaged food and beverages and pharmaceutical products. In particular, demand from the US and Russia – due to increased investment activity – is viewed positively. This is also confirmed by the order intake in the first quarter of 2018: It increased by a total of 20% compared to the same period of the previous year (domestic: plus 14%, foreign countries: plus 21%).
"The increase in incoming orders in the first quarter added to those orders dating from 2017 which will be delivered this year due to the longer throughput times, will gradually become sales – both will ensure that sales will increase by 5 to 6% in 2018 possible," predicts Clemens.