Frankfurt, Germany – The European rubber & plastics machinery association Euromap is upbeat about the future of the industry despite current energy and raw material headwinds.
While production value is set to remain flat year-on-year at €15 billion in 2022, the industry is set for growth over the next four years, said Euromap in a 5 Oct pre-K presentation.
“Looking at the trend of the last twelve years, a steady growth in production can be observed,” it added.
“The demand for processing machinery and equipment is evident in all major sales markets and will continue to grow,” the association added, noting an estimated growth of 21% in demand for plastics and polymers between 2021 and 2026.
According to Euromap data, over the past decade global exports of plastics and rubber machinery doubled from €12 billion in 2001 to €24 billion in 2021.
While Europe continues to lead the deliveries, its share of the exports fell from 54.6% of the total to 46.6% during the 10-year period.
The share of Chinese exports, on the other hand, grew “over-proportionately” from less than 2% to 24% percent.
In terms of production, total global output value grew from €17 billion in 2001 to €39 billion in 2021.
Europe’s production share fell from just under 55% to 40% during the decade while China’s share grew from 6.4% to 35%, according to Euromap data.
Noting that the order situation is currently restrained in Europe, the association stressed that the European plastics and rubber machinery industry “does not have a structural problem.”
“Like the plastics industry as a whole, it [machinery industry] is currently facing a variety of challenges,” it added.
Euromap said the supply chain problem within the industry has still not been eased while “the prices for gas and steel are exploding.”
According to a September survey by the machinery arm of German mechanical engineers association (VDMA), only 3% of respondents said they faced no supply disruptions during the month.
By contrast, 60% said they faced “serious disruptions” in supply chain.
“To put this into perspective, gas only covers a quarter of Europe's energy needs; before the shortage, 40% of this came from Russia.
“Currently, it is only 8%, and the gas storage facilities are well filled,” it added.
As a result, Euromap stressed that it was important to develop or expand alternative, regenerative energy sources now.
As for the upcoming K 2022 major trade fair, Euromap said the industry was "in the midst of the transformation process towards a circular economy."
“The current situation with rising energy and raw material prices is seen as a confirmation, rather than an obstacle, to consistently continue along this path,” it said
The European plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers, it concluded, will bring technologies that will make a “decisive contribution” to realising the key themes of K 2022 – circular economy, digitalisation, climate protection.