PLASTICS PROCESSING
Germany: Technical parts makers report production uptick in 2022 / Association expects “fragile” development this year
In 2022, feedstock, energy, and logistics costs continued the previous upwards trend, which boosted turnover in the German plastics processing industry by more than 10% to around EUR 77 bn. However, there was no real production growth, a discrepancy highlighted by the association of technical plastics products manufacturers, TecPart (Frankfurt, Germany; www.tecpart.de).

German plastics processing association Gesamtverband Kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie (GKV, Berlin; www.gkv.de) had taken the same line at its annual press conference, when GKV president Helen Fürst emphasised that a “considerable part” of the sales growth was due to cost increases, especially in energy. GKV said two out of five member companies did not succeed in generating better results from the rise in turnover.

TecPart MD Michael Weigelt said the association’s 900 manufacturers of technical parts achieved a production increase of 6.5% in 2022 from the previous year, defying the general trend. He identified the German automotive industry, with a rise of 11%, and manufacturers from the electronics industry, who reported a 2% increase, as the main drivers. Despite this, only few companies managed to pass on their higher costs to customers. The bottom line was that one-third record declining profits or even slipped into the red.
Staffing on the rise
Conversely, companies were not only able to keep the number of their employees stable, but even increased the workforce 1.1% to 101,000. Technical parts manufacturers thus remained the largest segment in the German plastics processing industry in terms of employee numbers, with a share of 31%, the association said.

Two topics continued to occupy the industry in 2022. First was the use of recyclates in durable products, which continued to increase, rising to 7% in the automotive industry and to 5% in the electrical industry. Secondly, 87% of companies suffered “from an extreme shortage of skilled workers”, TecPart said, quote a survey of members. The shortage of staff was broad-based, and starkest for technical professions and engineers.

Looking at the current year, the association expressed caution: “Things remain fragile!” Weigelt warned, even if there were increasing signs that a recession has been averted, which means technical plastics parts manufacturers could expect “small growth” in 2023.
03.04.2023 Plasteurope.com [252512-0]
Published on 03.04.2023
TecPart: Hersteller von technischen Teilen können Produktion leicht erhöhenGerman version of this article...

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