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Machinery exports record encouraging start to the year

Germany’s strong exporting machinery and plant manufacturers achieved a good result for their exports in the first quarter. According to preliminary results from the Federal Statistical Office, machinery exports in the first quarter rose by a nominal 13.8 percent year-on-year to 51.3 billion euros. Adjusted for prices, machinery exports recorded an increase of 4.4 percent in the first three months of the current year. “The encouraging export growth is partly driven by inflation and partly due to the fact that supply chains have eased in many areas. As a result, machinery and plant manufacturers are finally able to supply many of their customers and are reducing their high order backlogs,” says VDMA chief economist Dr. Ralph Wiechers.

Machinery deliveries to the USA, the most important export market, continued to show high growth of 26.5 percent in nominal terms compared with the previous year. The export value of machinery and equipment “Made in Germany” to the USA in the first quarter was around 6.9 billion euros. By contrast, German machinery exports to China increased by only 2.9 percent in nominal terms to a total of 4.6 billion euros. “Export business with China has not yet been able to gain significant momentum as hoped after the Corona measures were removed at the end of last year,” Wiechers adds.

Machinery exports to Germany’s EU partner countries showed double-digit nominal growth of 10.4 percent. They were therefore worth more than 22.4 billion euros in the first quarter. Machinery exports to the five most important customer countries within the EU-27 developed as follows: France: plus 18.2 percent, Italy: plus 10.6 percent, Netherlands: plus 10.3 percent, Austria: plus 1.6 percent and Poland: plus 11.6 percent. Machinery exports from Germany to other European countries such as the UK (up 14.8 percent) and Switzerland (up 19.2 percent) also grew strongly.

Machinery exports to Russia already fell significantly last year by a nominal 49.6 percent as a result of the Ukraine war. This trend has solidified: In the first quarter of this year, machinery exports were down 48.9 percent year-on-year in nominal terms. This means that Russia’s share of total German machinery exports is now less than 1 percent. Russia has slipped to 25th place in the export rankings. Before the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the country had ranked 4th. By contrast, German machinery exports to India continue to develop very positively. Export growth to India in the first quarter was 10 percent year-on-year in nominal terms.

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