German plastic packaging market on track for additional growth

The German market for plastic packaging and films achieved encouraging results in 2013, according to the IK, the Germany industry association. While production output rose by around 2.4% to 4.3 million tons, turnover worth 13.6 billion euro (USD 18.25 billion) (a surplus of 3.5%) reached a new record level.

While turnover was stagnated in the first half of the year, a marked improvement occurred in the second half. And yet, development presented itself in different ways. Due to strong domestic consumer demand, consumer packaging registered consistent stable growth. For industrial packaging, following a calm period during the first three quarters, substantial increase was only achieved toward the end of the year.

Still, IK cautions that the overall positive development must not distract from the fact that the plastic packaging industry had to face fierce competition from European countries outside Germany, which has impacted the film industry, in particular. In addition, the dramatic rise in energy costs due to the renewable energy (EEG) levy burdened an industry characterized by small and medium-sized businesses.

According to preliminary figures of the German Federal Statistical Office, over the period January to May 2014, the plastic packaging industry generated an increase in turnover of around 4%, compared to the same period of the previous year. For the months ahead, there are many indications that the economy will remain stable, which is also confirmed by the current IK economic trend survey for the third quarter of 2014. In view of rising energy and raw material prices, however, there is again increased pressure on the margins in the industry.

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