World Trade of Machinery in 2021: a Favourable Year

The recovery after the pandemic year was particularly robust, marking a 17.8% increase

.

Industrial equipment Conjuncture Check performance Export Global economic trends

Log in to use the pretty print function and embed function.
Aren't you signed up yet? Log in!

Preliminary figures for 2021, recently published in the ExportPlanning Information System, testify the excellent last-year performance in world trade of the Machinery industry.


After the drop recorded in 2020 (-7.8% in EUR), which has been decidedly more contained than what previously expected, 2021 showed a robust growth for Machinery1 exports: the rebound amounted to almost +18% in EUR.
World trade values recorded in 2021 are by 9 percentage points higher than the pre-pandemic ones (year 2019): so, the increase recorded in 2021 cannot be defined as a simple "rebound", since it exerted a significant impact on the turnover of the companies in the sector.

Growth performance in 2021 has been spread
to almost all major Machinery sectors

Evolution of world trade by sectors: % Y-o-Y changes in euro
World Trade of : % Y-o-Y changes in euro World Trade of Paper-making machinery: % Y-o-Y changes in euro
World Trade of Metal processing machinery: % Y-o-Y changes in euro World Trade of Metalworking machine tools: % Y-o-Y changes in euro
World Trade of Extrusion Machinery: % Y-o-Y changes in euro World Trade of Textile Machinery: % Y-o-Y changes in euro
World Trade of Food Machinery: % Y-o-Y changes in euro World Trade of Packaging Machines: % Y-o-Y changes in euro
World Trade of Printing Machines: % Y-o-Y changes in euro World Trade of Other Purpose Machinery: % Y-o-Y changes in euro
Source: ExportPlanning, Quarterly World Trade Database

With the exception of Metalworking machinery2 and Printing Machinery3, in 2021 all the main sectors that make up the machinery industry showed world export values higher than the pre-crisis ones. On the contrary, trade flows in metalworking machinery increased by just 14.5% in 2021, after a 20.6% drop experienced in 2020, while printing machinery rebounded by 11.2% in 2021, after a 20.9% fall in 2020.

World exports of Machine tools for metals 4 registered a +33.9% growth compared to 2020 and +25.4% compared to 2019, thanks to the performance of machines for the manufacture of electronic integrated circuits (even +57.3% compared to 2019) and, to a lesser extent, industrial robots (+14.3%) and machine tools operating with lasers (+14%).

Last year, the Paper Machinery sector5 reported a world export growth rate of +13.7% in EUR, with a positive differential of almost 9 percentage points compared to 2019. All major segments of the sector see a return of 2021 levels on pre-crisis levels, with a particular mention for pulp, paper and board cutting machines (+25% compared to 2019 levels).

Another sector with significant growth in 2021 in terms of world exports (+17.9% compared to 2020, +3.7% compared to 2019) refers to Hard material machines6, with significant increases compared to pre-crisis levels for wood and plastic sawing machines (+26.4% compared to 2019) and wood and plastic splitting and shredding machines (+26.7%).

Within Extrusion Machinery7, whose world exports grew last year by 14% in EUR (+3.8% compared to 2019), the most dynamic segments were rubber and plastic presses (+18% compared to 2019), rubber and plastic injection moulding machines (+6.8%) and other rubber and plastic machinery (+7.3%).

The Textile Machinery sector8, after losing more than 9% in 2020, saw its world exports grow by more than 18% over the previous year, to values 7.4% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Several segments made a positive contribution to this performance: washing machines with a capacity > 10 kg, felt making machines, yarn drying machines and appliances, shuttleless looms for fabrics > 30 cm wide and circular knitting looms with a cylinder diameter > 165 mm.

Within the Food Machinery sector9, whose world exports increased by more than 11% compared to 2020 (+6.4% compared to 2019), the greatest contributions came from water return cooling equipment and devices (+19.6% compared to 2019) and from mixing and kneading machines and apparatus (+9.6%).

Last but certainly not least, the growth performance of the Packaging Machinery sector10 should be noted: in 2021, it showed a growth in world trade of +6.7% in EUR compared to 2020, taking it to levels more than 4 percentage points higher than pre-pandemic ones. All major segments of the industry are reporting higher values in 2021, compared to 2019, and therefore reflecting a consistent and widespread recovery within the sector.

Conclusions

2021 saw a significant recovery in global trade in the machinery industry. This recovery, which was also confirmed in 2021-Q4 (+16.3% compared to the corresponding period in 2020, +10.7% compared to the same period in 2019), not only allowed global sales in the sector to recover from the penalties incurred in 2020, but also to return to peak values (EUR 71.7 billion on a quarterly basis and around EUR 255 billion on an annual basis).


(1) For a list of the sectors considered in this analysis, please refer to the following description.
(2) For a list of the products considered in this analysis, please refer to the following description.
(3) For a list of the products considered in this analysis, please refer to the following description.
(4) For a list of the products considered in this analysis, please refer to the following description.
(5) For a list of the products considered in this analysis, please refer to the following description.
(6) For a list of the products considered in this analysis, please refer to the following description.
(7) For a list of the products considered in this analysis, please refer to the following description.
(8) For a list of the products considered in this analysis, please refer to the following description.
(9) For a list of the products considered in this analysis, please refer to the following description.
(10) For a list of the products considered in this analysis, please refer to the following description.