The Growth of European Mechanical Engineering Exports Continues

In the first 9 months of 2021, EU machinery exports recovered their pre-crisis levels

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The growth of European exports of Mechanical Equipment keeps going: according to pre-estimates formulated by StudiaBo from Eurostat data - EU exports of Machinery highlighted a 9.5% increase between July and September 2021, up for the third consecutive quarter.


Comparing 2021 data with pre-pandemic data, we can observe another quarter of positive growth: +1.5% compared to 2019-Q3.

Overall, in the first 9 months of the year, EU exports have fully recovered their pre-crisis levels (0.6%) and are currently 15 percentage points above 2020 levels.

EU Exports of Machinery: Year-over-Year changes in euro
Jan-Sep'21/Jan-Sep'20 Jan-Sep'21/Jan-Sep'19
Sector change change
Paper-making Machinery +13.7% +13.0%
Printing Machines +10.5% -10.9%
Packaging Machines +7.0% +0.3%
Metal Processing Machinery +14.7% -14.2%
Extrusion Machinery +17.0% +2.5%
Machine Tools for hard materials +16.5% -3.1%
Textile Machinery +23.9% -2.4%
Food Machinery +12.5% +4.5%
Metalworking Machine Tools +26.3% +9.8%
Other special purpose Machinery +6.3% -8.0%
TOTAL MACHINERY +15.0% +0.6%
Source: ExportPlanning - EU Trade database

European exports back to pre-crisis levels for paper machinery, metalworking machine tools, food machinery, extrusion machinery and packaging machines

EU sales of Paper-making and Converting Machinery do also record full recovery1 (+13% in the first 9 months of 2021 compared to the corresponding period in 2019), as well as Metal Machine Tools2 (+9.8%), Food Machinery3 (+4.5%), Extrusion Machinery4 (+2.5%) and Packaging Machinery5 (+0.3%).

On the other hand, EU exports of Metalworking Machinery6 still lag behind pre-crisis levels (-14.2% in January-September 2021 compared to the corresponding period in 2019). The same can be said of Printing Machines7 (-10.9%), Machine Tools for hard materials8 (-3.1%), Textile Machinery9 (-2.4%, a recovery of as much as 24 percentage points notwithstanding) and Other Special Purpose Machinery10 (-8%).

EU Exports of Machinery by sectors (Year-over-Year in euro)





Source: ExportPlanning Information System

Although some industries have not fully recovered, this analysis signal the reboot of international demand for capital goods (as already documented in the article "Global Demand for Industrial Goods picks up further"). Indeed, data show the presence of a "V-shaped" recovery: in just three quarters (January-September 2021) exports closed their gap with pre-pandemic levels.


1) For a detailed list of the products included, see the related description sheet.
2) For a detailed list of the products included, see the related description sheet.
3) For a detailed list of the products included, see the related description sheet.
4) For a detailed list of the products included, see the related description sheet.
5) For a detailed list of the products included, see the related description sheet.
6) For a detailed list of the products included, see the related description sheet.
7) For a detailed list of the products included, see the related description sheet.
8) For a detailed list of the products included, see the related description sheet.
9) For a detailed list of the products included, see the related description sheet.
10) For a detailed list of the products included, see the related description sheet.