Plastics industry Plastics processors report sales growth beset by uncertainties
On Ash Wednesday, the German Plastics Processing Industry Association (Gesamtverband Kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie e.V. - GKV) traditionally takes stock of the current economic situation, but also looks to the future. Here are some insights.
In its annual economic press conference, which takes place on Ash Wednesday, the GKV again took stock of the situation in the plastics processing industry over the last business year. According to the report, the sector's revenues went up by 12 percent, which means an absolute value of 69.4 billion Euros. But this success is hard-won, because the companies in the German plastics processing industry are also suffering from strong economic pressure, as the GKV noted.
According to the GKV, the explanation for the existing problems can be found in the exorbitant increase in prices for the necessary raw materials and for energy. Various delivery delays and the resulting order stoppages - especially with regard to the automotive suppliers - are another cause for concern. But, as has been emphasised, the German plastics industry is continuing unwaveringly on its chosen course towards a sustainable circular economy.
Several German plastics processing companies at risk of bankruptcy
A total of around 15 million tonnes (an increase of 5.6 %) of plastics were processed in Germany in 2021. Of this, 2.2 million tonnes were recycled plastics - almost 15 %, according to the latest information. The number of employees was also stable at just under 322,000. The economic outlook for 2022, however, is gloomy, in view of the uncertainties described above, with regard to impending costs and delays. And even if half of the companies expect turnover to increase, a good quarter of German plastics processors nevertheless anticipate further declines in earnings, as a GKV survey among its members reveals. If nothing is done to improve the situation, the only option for many companies is to relocate production, or even to close down completely, the GKV warns.
But this would have fatal consequences for the economy as a whole, warned Roland Roth, President of the GKV. Roth pleaded: "Politicians must urgently reduce the state surcharges on energy prices. Bringing forward the EEG (German Renewable Energy Sources Act) reform can only be a first step." However, a reduced electricity tax and the significant debureaucratisation of the regulation for the national CO2 price must also urgently follow, according to the GKV President.