Asociación de fabricantes de maquina herramienta.
Asociación de fabricantes de maquina herramienta.

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03 May, 2017

The definite figures corresponding to the end of the 2016 financial year of the Machine-tool and advanced manufacturing technologies sector indicate that the turnover in 2016 nearly reached 1.50 billion Euros, representing a 1.5% increase respect to 2015 figure. The different subsectors (metal cutting, metal forming, components, tools, accessories and machining) experience small changes but the panorama has not changed very much.

The stability of the figures is the persistent trend for the first Spanish industrial association that celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. In the words of its President, Antxon Lopez Usoz: “following the trends of the last few years, our extensive international experience and our capacity to supply solutions that adapt to increasingly demanding markets, is allowing us to navigate through troubled waters. The year has been very complicated with enormous uncertainties in very important markets for us, such as the USA, Russia, Brazil or India. However, other markets have been operating slightly better, noteworthy among which are Germany that took back its position as European leader, or Mexico, Portugal and Italy, with good results, and China that has recovered part of the territory lost in 2015, and is showing certain signs of improvement in demand”.


Exports grew by 6.6% in 2016, reaching 1.18 billion Euros. If we analyse the machine subsector destination countries, at the end of 2016 we see that Germany remains at the top of the table followed by China, Mexico, Portugal and Italy. The next five most important destinations are: USA, France, Poland, United Kingdom and Sweden.
Germany has pushed the USA off the top of the table, with a considerable increase - 35% - with respect to financial year 2015, representing 12.9% of the Spanish export. The growth of China has been even more outstanding, but still some way from the figures reached in 2012 or 2014. Its market share was 11.6%. In third place, Mexico also experienced a highly considerable growth of 67%, representing 9.3% of our sales abroad. Portugal and Italy complete the list of the top five countries, in both cases representing 8%, and also with a growth increase of more than 30% with respect to 2015 figures. Exports to these five countries exceed 50% of the total exports.
However, there are other markets that have deteriorated in 2016, such as the USA that went from representing 12.6% of the exports in 2015 to 8% in 2016; the United Kingdom whose share dropped from 6.3% to 2.9%, or Russia and Brazil that have also experienced reductions.


After three years of clear recovery and very high relative growths, the domestic consumption came to a standstill in 2016, finally remaining at 584 million Euros, a figure that is clearly insufficient for a country that strives to be industrial. These figures, despite doubling the amounts that were registered in the worst time of the recession, are still much lower (around 40%) than the consumption figures that Spain registered prior to the recession.
The President of AFM comments: “Although it is true that industry has become somewhat more dynamic over the last three years, it is no less true that the machine-tool consumption is surprisingly low for a country of the size of Spain, that needs to regenerate its production model. An advanced, intelligent and digitalised industry that does not invest in manufacturing technology is not conceivable. Current investment levels are clearly lower than the depreciation rate of the existing stock, and we fear that we are witnessing an industrial decapitalisation in some areas of the country”. And, he adds: “The machine-tool consumption is a clear indicator of industrial competitiveness and in view of the figures, Spain needs a decisive boost to invest in production equipment with a ripple effect. It is extremely pressing to enable Renove plans at a national level, similar to those drawn up by administrations such as the Basque administration, accompanying them with decisive tax measures such as those adopted by other countries like Italy, that reward reinvesting earnings in production equipment.”


2016 has shown an interesting growth in machine orders, with an increase of more than 22%. This unusual figure is due to an extremely high investment of the automotive sector, which has drawn large press manufacturers and the metal forming subsector, in general, with it. This circumstance has led to a major increase in orders (+56%) and the largest capture ever registered by the subsector. Metal cutting, however, has had a complicated year in many of its main markets, registering a drop of 4.7% in capture in 2016.
2017 has begun in a similar manner to 2016 insofar as capture is concerned, and although it is still soon to make forecasts, it will be very complicated to equal the global capture registered last year. In fact, a reduction seems more logical.


Perspectives for 2017 are optimistic. The Director of AFM, Xabier Ortueta, augurs a 2017 with growth in turnover. “An increase in turnover of between 8 and 10% is foreseeable in 2017, tapping into the pull of the capture in the metal forming subsector. Likewise, we expect a similar growth in exports.” Regarding the market situation, he states: “we have detected that the start of the year points towards a better situation in general, and in such important markets as Germany or China, in particular, where the business expectation indicators have clearly improved. Although there are important uncertainty factors, we anticipate a year with growing opportunities in the different markets and sectors. Let’s hope that we can confirm the good omens at the end of the year”.


In the year when the AFM turns 70, the Advanced Manufacturing Cluster is a true reality thanks to the incorporation of ESKUIN (Hardware and Industrial Supply Cluster), the creation of ADDIMAT (Spanish Association of Additive and 3D Manufacturers), and more recently of AFMEC (Spanish Association of Mechanical Engineering). AFM Cluster has become a meeting point where the opportunities of a complementary sector, which is stronger when working in collaboration, can be taken advantage of and triggered.
“We have gone from 85 companies to more than 370 entities in just over five years. This has been done in a consensual manner, with a vocation to add and to cooperate to be more competitive. Additive manufacturing and 3D printing, hand tools and industrial supply, and the world of machining and metal-mechanical transformation have been added to machine-tool, its components and tools. We are representatives of advanced manufacturing in Spain, and as such we take on the mission of steering its collective strategy and defining the interests of our member companies”, states Lopez Usoz.


General Meeting and 70 Anniversary of AFM: 5 May, in San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park of Guipuzcoa

Addit3D – Ferroforma – Subcontratación:from 6 to 8 June at BEC, Bilbao Exhibition Centre (Bilbao)

EMO Hannover 2017: from 18 to 23 September in Hannover

21 Advanced Manufacturing and Machine Tool Congress: from 25 to 27 October, in San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park of Guipuzcoa




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