Orders for machine tools double in 2010
Last modified 10-02-2011
A good last four months to 2010 is paving the sector’s way to recovery. However, growth is not yet sufficient, as it is still 30% below the level achieved in 2008.
“In spite of the improvement anticipated by orders doubling the figure for 2009, many companies are still suffering, especially the smallest and least globalised. We hope to see growth consolidated over the next few months and that we can finally put the crisis behind us.
The chip-removal subsector, with only a 40% increase in orders, still has to make up a lot of ground to reach the stability threshold. On the other hand, the forming subsector performed better throughout the year and is tackling 2011 with confidence”, said Koldo Arandia, Chairman of the AFM.
Machine tool production in 2010 accounted for €613.2m, a figure 17.7% down on that for 2009, a year in which turnover totalled €745.1m. Given the long leadtime for machine tool orders, the turnover figures for 2010 show that few orders were received in 2009 and the first half of 2010.
Exports also fell, from €551.9m in 2009 to €453.5m in 2010, which was a drop of 17.8%. The export/import coverage ratio continues to be very high, at 211.7%. 74% of Spanish machine tool production in 2010 was for the export market.
By markets, we ought to stress how strong China and India have been and how solid Germany has been, as in spite of the crisis it recovered in the second half of the year. If we analyse the ranking of countries we export to, based on data to October 2010, we can see that Germany is still the number one destination accounting for 14.1%, although it has fallen 10 points compared to the 24% recorded in 2009. Close behind is China, which has risen to second place from third in 2009 and accounts for 13.3%. Brazil is in third place, with 7.8% having risen from eleventh place in 2009 and trebled its share. India has risen to fourth position with 7.6%, followed by Italy, the country it has changed places with compared to 2009, with 6.9%. After these, France, Portugal, USA, Mexico and Poland complete the top ten destinations for our exports. These ten countries account for 70% of total exports.
“Germany’s recovery in the second half of the year is excellent news for our companies. China and India continue to grow strongly and Brazil has also started to take off, whilst USA and Mexico are in the process of recovery. If this trend is maintained, we expect the consolidation of market growth to continue and lead us out of the crisis we are still suffering”, stated Koldo Arandia.
Imports, for their part, barely increased by 2.9% to total €214.2m compared to 208.2 in 2009. Apparent consumption, the result of adding production and imports and subtracting exports, fell by 6.9%. Domestic demand, already severely damaged, has continued to fall, although Spanish machine tools have maintained their share increasing it slightly to 26% of production.
“In spite of the figures showing that the net worth of industry is seriously falling in Spain, we want to continue to be suppliers of competitiveness for industry, because we believe our future relies on banking on industry as a key sector for growth in any advanced economy. We are committed to a more efficient industry that is more respectful of the environment, helps to reduce energy consumption, maximising machine performance, maintaining and generating skilled, quality employment”, said Arandia in a reaffirmation of his defence of the sustainability of industry in all regards.
The international vocation of the sector, together with its capacity for innovation and equipping its machines with the most advanced technology have turned out to be key factors for survival over the last two years. The presence and development of commercial and/or production positions in the biggest growing markets, like China, India or Brazil, will be fundamental for growth in the sector over the next few years.
“I don’t want to conceal the fact that the challenges we face are enormous for the machine tool sector and Basque industry in general, and if we want to tackle them, our companies have to increase in size. We have to come up with formulas for co-operation without delay, that allow us to create powerful structures to attack such enormous, demanding markets with any guarantee of success”, concluded Koldo Arandia.