Orders received by the German metal forming technology sector in the fourth quarter of 2021 were 50 percent up on the previous year’s figure. Orders from Germany rose by 21 percent. Foreign orders were 67 percent higher than in the previous year. In 2021 as a whole, the level of orders received by German manufacturers rose by 42 percent. Domestic orders were 18 percent higher than in the previous year, foreign orders 57 percent.

“This great result shows how German manufacturers of metal forming machines have worked their way out of the Covid crisis,” says Dr Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the VDW (German Machine Tool Builders’ Association), Frankfurt am Main, commenting on the result. “Orders are also 2 percent higher than in 2019, the year before Covid,” Schäfer adds.

The main driving force is foreign demand, which is broad-based in regional terms. Almost all markets have turned positive with many of them posting strong figures again, even compared with 2019. In Europe, there were triple-digit increases in orders from Russia, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Spain. Italy and Austria, both boosted by massive investment support programs, also performed very well. While the orders from Austria only returned to normal in the second half of the year, those from Italy remained at a high level throughout the year. The two lead markets, China and the USA, also performed strongly. The stronger momentum in the USA helped to narrow the gap between the two countries.

“All in all, there are great prospects of the sector having a good year in 2022,” Schäfer concludes. “We are expecting the wave of Covid-19 infections to weaken in the coming weeks and many restrictions to fall away. Most manufacturers also expect supply problems to ease in the second half of the year, allowing them to complete their orders.“