Q4 German equipment orders fall –30%

By Chris Sleight24 February 2009

Incoming orders for German-built construction equipment and building materials machinery fell more than -30% in the final quarter of last year, compared to October to December 2007. The figures come from Germany's Construction Equipment and Building Material Machinery Association, the VDMA.

Commenting on the results, VDMA chairman Dr Chrsitof Kemman said, "Never before have we seen such a sudden and drastic decrease in oncoming orders happening at so many companies, in so many different sectors and markets at the same time as in the last quarter of 2008."

Despite the fourth quarter drop off, sales by the VDMA's member companies were up +7% in 2008 to € 16,4 billion. Construction machinery sales were flat with 2007 at € 11,1 billion, with the increase coming in the building materials machinery sector, which enjoyed sales of € 5,3 billion in 2008, thanks to rising exports.

Exports of German construction equipment totalled some € 8 billion last year, with domestic sales coming to € 3 billion. The main export markets for German manufacturers are other EU countries, which accounted for 48% of VDMA member companies' exports in 2008. Other European countries took 18% of exports, while the major markets included North America (8% of exports), the Middle East (7%) and East & Southeast Asia (7%).

The VDMA's forecast for 2009 is for manufacturers to work off their backlogs before a slump hits the industry. It expects the construction equipment industry to see a more severe decline than the building materials machinery segment, which should remain stable.
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