Double-digit growth projected for German woodworking machinery orders
May 24, 2021 | 4:26 pm CDT
VDMA Bernhard Dirr
Dr. Bernhard Dirr

HANNOVER, Germany – New orders for German woodworking machinery have increased by double-digits in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year, according to VDMA, with the association projecting a 15 percent increase for the year.

The VDMA provided the data during the May preview meeting for LIGNA.Innovation Network, the 2021 digital version of the biennial woodworking fair, scheduled for Sept. 27-29. The VDMA's Woodworking Machinery Association is a co-sponsor of LIGNA.

According to VDMA, indications are that last year's 14.5 percent drop in production can largely be made up during the current year. Sales of woodworking machinery reached 2.88 billion euros ($3.52 billion USD) in 2020, compared to 3.36 billion euros ($4.47 billion USD) in 2019.

"Already in the fourth quarter of the past year, the industry achieved the turnaround in orders across all segments. The figures now available for the first three months make us more than optimistic," said Dr. Bernhard Dirr, managing director of the VDMA's Woodworking Machinery Association.

VDMA expects a total production increase of 15 percent for the industry in 2021. "With this, we are massively raising our forecast of plus 3 percent announced in November last year. We are more than optimistic about the coming months," Dirr added.

"However," he continued, "there are also risks that we do not want to leave unmentioned. As of today, limited travel and the related hindrances in sales and assembly work continue to be the biggest risk. In addition, the delivery times for component supplies have increased dramatically due to the global upswing in the mechanical engineering industry. This additional risk, as well as the internal hygiene measures still in force and the short-time work that partly exists in some areas, are still delaying production significantly in some cases."

According to VDMA, growth is expected from all regions of the world. Along with China, which has already picked up momentum, the industry sees the greatest growth potential in North America, with Europe, too, showing substantial growth opportunities in all woodworking market segments. 

The VDMA represents approximately 3,300 German and European mechanical and plant engineering companies, including those in the woodworking sector.

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Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at karen.koenig@woodworkingnetwork.com