Effects of the Great Uncertainty at an International Level: Machinery is the most Affected Industry in terms of World Trade

Exports from the main world competitors (excluding China) fell in the first 9 months of 2019


Slowdown Industrial equipment Conjuncture Global demand Export Foreign markets Uncertainty Global economic trends

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The high uncertainty of the international economy is heavily affecting the investment choices of manufacturers world-wide.
In the first 9 months of 2019, as documented in the article "International Trade performance by Country and Industry", the Machinery industry1 recorded a drop in world trade close to 5% in values at constant prices.

All major global competitors are down ...

The difficulties of the industry are affecting the main international competitors in the Machinery business. In particular:

  1. As for European competitors, German exports (ranked 1st in the world, with a 16% share last year) have been showing a cumulative trend decline of 7.2% y-o-y at constant prices; at the same time, Italian exports (2nd European competitor) experienced a new deterioration in the most recent quarter (-6.2% at constant prices), with an annual cumulative decline that exceeded 4 percentage points.
  2. Japanese exports - 2nd for world values - have been on a downward trend for 4 consecutive quarters, with a cumulative decrease of more than 10 percentage points (constant prices) in 2019, compared to 2018.
  3. The recessionary effects on the sector are penalizing, not least, US exports, which have been in double-digit decline for four quarters in a row at constant prices.

... with the only notable exception of Chinese Exports.

In contrast to other competitors, Chinese exports performance of Machinery remained on a positive growth path: if measured in export declarations, Chinese results continue to record double-digit growth rates at constant prices (with a performance of +16.7% cumulative y-o-y growth).
Even considering "mirror" flows (world-wide declarations in imports of Machinery from China), through ExportPlanning Quarterly World Trade Datamart2, there is a very similar positive trend, with a cumulative increase of almost 12% in terms of values (constant prices).

For the Chinese sales of Machinery, the greatest contributions to growth are coming from Asian markets (such as India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and South Korea); we also notice the favorable performances of Chinese exports of Machinery towards Mexico, Brazil and Egypt.
The overall growth performances achieved on these markets more than offset the - albeit significant - reductions on the US and Turkish markets.

1) The industry analyzed in this article groups, in particular, the following sectors: metalworking machine tools, food machinery, machine tools for hard materials, extrusion machines, packaging machines, textile machines, printing machines. See the list in the following industry's description.
2) Quarterly World Trade Datamart is accessible freely, upon registration, up to the UL20 level (22 industries) of the Ulisse Products Classification.