German Plastics Output Declines in 2014
German plastics production volumes declined by 2.5% to 19.4 million t in 2014, the national section of PlasticsEurope said in its annual report. At the same time, sales revenue across the industry increased by 1% to €27 billion.
Exports of plastics made in Germany rose by 2.7% to 12.6 billion valued at €23.5 billion. In volume terms, imports of plastics into the country rose by 3.4% to 8.8 million t, valued at €15.1 billion.
In line with previous years, some 72% of German plastics sales outside its national borders went to the EU 28, with Italy, France, Poland and the Benelux countries the most important customers. Nearly 90% of plastics imports came from the EU 28, led by Belgium and the Netherlands.
The figures also encompass companies' internal product movements.
Commenting on the climate for the German plastics industry, Josef Ertl, president of the PlasticsEurope sub-group and CEO of PVC producer Vinnolit, said producers are still having to contend with price and currency fluctuations within Europe and elsewhere as well as a slowdown in growth in major emerging markets such as China and geopolitical issues.
Saying that conditions for producing plastics in Europe have deteriorated, Ertl blamed excessive regulation, high energy prices and competition with US producers having access to cheap feedstocks as well as competition with cheaper Asian producers.