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Sector News Global machine tool production slips in 2012, Chinese output eases: Poll

Editor: Eric Culp

Exports drive sales of German machinery.

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Total global production fell some $1 billion last year, the survey said.
Total global production fell some $1 billion last year, the survey said.
(Source: Gardner Business Media, Inc.)

The world’s machine tool manufacturers saw output level off last year as production eased 1% compared to 2011, according to a global industry survey conducted by US-based Gardner Business Media. The pollster said companies “stabilised their recovery over the previous two years from the precipitous drop of 2009, when total world output fell by fully one-third.”

According to the survey, a total of $93.2 billion of machine tools was produced globally last year, down from the $94.3 billion in shipments from those same 28 countries in 2011. The total in 2010 was $68.8 billion the start of the recovery from 2009 when output crashed to $56 billion.

Related: German machine tool sales to rise slightly in 2013: VDW

Among individual producing countries, China showed a slight decline in output but remains by far the largest supplier (chart). China has been the world’s biggest consumer of factory equipment since 2002; in recent years its domestic machine-producing industry has steadily expanded to fill local demand.

Japan ranks second with no change in the amount produced from the year before, and it is followed by Germany, which saw an export-driven gain. The output from those top three account for 64% of 2012’s total shipments measured in the survey.

Other national industries among top-ten producers had mixed performances. South Korea had virtually no change, Italy and Taiwan increased a few percentage points, the United States added 7% while Switzerland fell by about the same amount. Spain and Austria increased output in 2012.

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