(02/20/2024 / sbr)

Incoming orders 2023: Moderate decline overall

More orders from Germany and the euro partner countries, but a double-digit decline in orders from countries outside the eurozone: The German food processing and packaging machinery industry closed 2023 with a real decline in incoming orders of 4 percent.

Decline in orders from outside the eurozone

A detailed analysis shows that orders from abroad fell by 6 percent in real terms compared to the previous year, particularly with declining orders from countries outside the eurozone. In 2023, they were significantly lower compared to the previous year with a real decline of 11 percent.

Euro countries and Germany with order growth

In contrast, the demand from euro partner countries increased by 11 percent in real terms and from Germany by 10 percent in real terms above the 2022 level. Although a balance could not be fully achieved hereby, orders from the eurozone ensured that manufacturers of food processing and packaging machinery were able to close 2023 with a moderate minus in incoming orders.

“Our industry made it through 2023 with only minor losses. Compared to the mechanical engineering industry as a whole, which recorded a 12 percent decline in incoming orders, we did better,” says Beatrix Fraese, expert for markets and economics as well as Deputy Managing Director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association.

Growth in production value in 2023

According to preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office, machine production in the industry grew by a nominal 6 percent in 2023 based on the high order backlog, reaching a production value of almost 16 billion euros. For 2024, the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association anticipates lower growth in production in view of the backdrop of last year's order intake trend and shrinking order backlogs. It is currently not possible to quantify details, especially as incoming orders may return to growth in the current year. This applies in particular to the demand for packaging machines.

Focus on EU packaging regulation

The discussions surrounding the new EU packaging regulation caused a great deal of uncertainty in the market last year and also affected the incoming orders. This brake on investment could be released as early as this year if the draft regulation is adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council in April and then comes into force in 2025.