Difficult order situation for packaging machines

22 February 2024

The German food machinery and packaging machinery industry did not have an easy time in 2023. Overall, the industry closed the year with a 4 per cent drop in incoming orders. This was due in particular to a decline in orders from abroad.

A detailed analysis shows that orders from abroad fell by 6 per cent in real terms compared to the previous year, with orders from countries outside the eurozone falling in particular. In 2023, they were down 11 per cent in real terms, significantly below the previous year.

In contrast, demand from the euro partner countries rose by 11 per cent in real terms and from Germany by 10 per cent in real terms above the 2022 level. Although this did not quite make up for this, orders from the eurozone ensured that manufacturers of food processing and packaging machinery were able to close 2023 with a moderate drop in incoming orders.

"Our industry made it through 2023 with only minor losses. Compared to the mechanical engineering sector as a whole, which recorded a 12 per cent drop in incoming orders, we fared better." - Beatrix Fraese, expert for markets and the economy and Deputy Managing Director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association

According to preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office, machine production in the sector grew by a nominal 6 per cent in 2023 based on the high order backlog, reaching a production value of almost 16 billion euros. For 2024, the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association anticipates lower growth in production against the backdrop of last year's order intake trend and dwindling order backlogs. It is currently not possible to quantify the extent of this, especially as incoming orders may return to growth in the current year. This applies in particular to demand for packaging machines.

The discussions surrounding the new EU packaging regulation caused a great deal of uncertainty in the market last year and weighed on incoming orders. This brake on investment could already be released this year if the draft regulation is adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council in April and then comes into force in 2025.Source: Packaging-Journal

Source: Packaging-Journal