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Exports of machine tools 2008 - 2017

Rising average values of machine tools go hand in hand with declining exports to China

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The global economic crisis of 2008/2009 stirred up the export markets of the mechanical engineering industry. China replaced the USA as the number one exporting country and the export quota to the EU countries gradually decreased further and further. In the meantime, machine exports from Germany have returned to their traditional pre-crisis economic course. A similar development can be seen for machine tools. This report shows the occasionally great importance of China for the export of machines tools and compares the export markets with the value in euros per machine tool since 2008.

Export markets for machine tools again back on track as before the world economic crisis since 2016

August 2nd, 2018 - As in machinery industry, the export shares of machine tools to the EU countries and the USA fell as a result of the global economic crisis. At the same time, exports of machine tools exploded to the BRIC countries, especially to China.


Eight years later, in 2016, the distribution of export markets is back on track as before the global economic crisis. Machine tools are again preferably exported to the EU countries and the USA. The export ratio to the BRIC countries has fallen back to its pre-world economic crisis level.

Export shares of machine tools in main export countries from 2008 to 2017.

Let's compare the two export markets with the relatively biggest changes - the BRIC countries resp. China and the USA.

China's leading export position has been relativizing since 2012

As a result of the global economic crisis, the export share of machine tools to China almost tripled from 13% to 34% in 2012. The export share to the USA dropped to 7% in 2009 and 2010 and increased to 11% in 2012 - a third of that of China.


Production and sales of machine tools also fell until 2010 and only climbed out of the crisis low from 2011, as one report shows.


So declining exports to the USA were part of the problem, rising exports to China were part of the solution.

Export shares of machine tools to the USA and China from 2008 to 2017.

Since then, the export quota to the USA have been stagnating between 10% and 12%, while exports to China fell even further until they reached the low of 2009 at 20% in 2016.

With rising unit value of machine tools exports to China were decreasing

What connection does the value1 in euros per machine tool show with the export markets?


The unit value, i.e. the value in euros per machine tool, can be divided into three phases.


From 2008 to 2010, the unit value of machine tools increased moderately, while exports to China doubled from 13% to 27%, to the EU fell by a third from 46% to 33% as a result of the global economic crisis and also to the USA from 8% to 7%.


From 2011 to 2013, the unit value continued to rise with an increasing growth rate. During this period exports to China reached their maximum with a share of 34% in 2012. 2013, when the unit value of machine tools increased by 20% from € 82,800 to € 99,600, the export ratio to China fell from its peak value of 34% to 25%. However, exports of machine tools to the USA and the EU could be increased during this period.

Value per machine tool in euro from 2008 to 2017.

With an interruption in 2014, the unit value of machine tools increased only slightly by 2017, moving around €100,000 per machine tool. The export share of machine tools to China dropped to 20% and reached 21% in 2017. Exports to the USA and the EU, on the other hand, were growing almost continuously.

 


1 The official statistics determines value as production, evaluated to selling prices without value added tax. So the difference to the turnover lies mainly in changes of inventories, i.e. value may be understood as turnover with good approximation.

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