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The export markets of packaging machines 2008 - 2022

How export markets and average values of packaging machines are changing in three stages

This report highlights the three stages in the relation of export markets for packaging machines and their average values, expressed in euro per packkaging machine, since the beginning of the world economic crisis from 2008/2009 to 2022.

The average value of packaging machines dropped clearly during the time of crisis overcoming

Update October 2nd, 2023 - In the crisis year 2009 production and value resp. sales1 of packaging machines synchronously plunge into the cellar. However, they do not climb synchronously out of the crisis low.

Indexes of production and sales and the value per packaging machine from 2008 to 2022.

Rather the approach out of the crisis indicates a specific strategy, which may be partly deliberately chosen, partly forced by the emergency situation.

The packaging machines’ number of items rise steeply, their value resp. sales lag behind, in the result the average value per packaging machine clearly drops (light blue filled area).

While the average value before the crisis stood at €77,500 per packaging machine, it drops in 2010 to €69,200 (minus 11%) and one year later still more deeply to €67,100 € (minus 13%).

So the crisis overcoming had been managed by clear reduced average values of packaging machines with rising number of items.

Export markets shifting during the time of crisis overcoming

This strategy is connected with a precipitous shift of the export markets in 2010.

To the EU countries the export share of packaging machines plunges from 35% to 27%, soaring to the BRIC countries from 17% to 25%. Regarding China the export share doubles to 15% within one year.

Export shares of packaging machines to main countries from 2008 to 2022.

The export share to the MIST countries rises relatively as strongly as it falls to the US.

It is a plausible thesis that the increased export numbers to the BRIC and MIST countries could be achieved with packaging machines, whose functional range or performance scope were reduced to certain extent. Price concessions will have played a completing but not the leading role.

This first stage in the relation between changes of the average value of packaging machines and changes in their export markets lasts from 2010 to 2011. This strategy leads through the crisis.

Since 2012 export markets shifting back with rising average values of packaging machines

Then in 2012 a strategic change occurs and opens up the second stage. The average value per packaging machine rises steeply, as the chart clearly indicates. It increases by 33% from €67,000 € to €89,000 in the three years from 2012 to 2014. At the same time the number of items drops during this period while sales rise.

This strategy is again combined with a change of the export markets. This time they backshift to the constellation before the crisis - first tentatively, then intensified.

In 2015 and intensified in 2016 average values of packaging machines even drop to former export markets

To the EU countries the export share has been rising 2015 to its third year, to the BRC countries it has been fallen to its fifth year. And the duplication of the export share to China was dwindled to a growth of just 30%. However, to the MIST countries the export share constantly rises until 2014, however, dropping again in 2015.

This backshift of the export markets has the sector in common with the entire machinery industry.

Is this a future-oriented strategy weighting export markets in the same way as it was before the world economic crisis of 2008/2009?

This question may be justified as three years later the average value of the packaging machines drops again in 2015 - even on the base of back shifted export markets. The number of items rises, sales drop.  

Obviously the stagnating tendencies in the world economy take their toll starting the third stage which combines back shifted export markets with sinking average values being in opposite to pre-crisis' time.

These tendencies are continuing intensified in 2016 as the average value of packaging machines stands with €76,000 only scacerly above the level of 2012.

In 2017, the average values of packaging machinery are rising again for the first time, as they last did in 2014. This increase lasts until 2019. Since then, the average values of packaging machinery have been falling. Since the end of 2018, industrial production in Germany has been falling, as has the output of the German mechanical engineering sector.

The solution now is not to increase exports to BRIC and MIST countries, as was the case after 2008/09, but to focus on exports to the USA. Here, the export ratio rises from 13% to 18% in 2021, falling to 14% one year later. The export ratio to the BRIC countries, on the other hand, falls from 16% (2019) to 12% (2022) and to the MIST countries from 6% to 5%.


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.