German Plastics Industry In Numbers

THE GERMAN PLASTICS INDUSTRY’S ANNUAL SALES VOLUME SURPASSES €91 BILLION. THE INDUSTRY COMPRISES 3,300 COMPANIES AND THESE COMPANIES EMPLOY A WORKFORCE OF AROUND 393,000 PEOPLE. THE INDUSTRY GENERATES MORE THAN SIX PERCENT OF THE DOMESTIC INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION.

Global Plastics Demand and Production
The global plastics industry has seen an average annual growth of since 1950. Plastics production has grown by around 500% in the last 30 years. To put it in terms of tons, production has grown to roughly 311 million tons in 2014 from merely 1.5 tons in 1950. This increase in demand is expected to grow by 3.7% annually during the 2012-2017 period.

European Market Demand and Production
The European plastics industry realized a total sales volume of €350 billion in 2014. Europe generates about 23% of global plastics production (59 million tons in 2014). With an annual plastics demand of around 48 million tons, the European market is currently the world’s largest. The most significant feature of the market is also what makes it more preferable: its ability to meet the demand for high quality and performance. Four European countries are among the top ten countries that are preferred for direct investment within the global market. And Germany is the leader of these four.

German Market Demand and Production
The German plastics industry generates upwards of €91 billion in sales annually. The industry comprises 3,300 companies. These companies employ a workforce of around 393,000 people. The industry accounts for more than six percent of the domestic industrial production.

Germany is home to more than 2,850 companies that operate in the plastics processing area. This corresponds to a workforce of 316,000 people. In 2015, plastics processing companies’ sales revenues reached roughly €60 billion. Germany is a world leader in plastics and rubber machinery companies as well. In 2015, 250 machinery companies provided employment for 28,000 people and reached a sales volume of €7 billion.

Structure of the Plastics Industry in Germany 2015
  • PLASTICS PROCESSING
  • PLASTICS & RUBBER MACHINERY
  • PLASTICS PRODUCTION
Source: PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. - 2015

Increased Global Plastics Demand
Global plastics demand is forecast to grow five percent annually through 2018 as a result of global megatrends including urbanization, energy demand, climate change, and new technology developments. The different megatrends driving growth are closely linked to industry sectors including construction, energy efficiency and housing – areas in which plastics are playing an ever-increasing role.

Internationally, the greatest growth is predicted in the developing Asian nations. Within Europe, the developing economies of central and eastern Europe that constitute the new EU member states are expected to record the highest increase levels.

Europe’s Number One Plastics Industry
Centrally situated in Europe, Germany is optimally located to meet the new business opportunities presented by current market developments. At present, Europe accounts for one fifth of total global plastics consumption. As Europe’s number one plastics location, Germany enjoys a global plastics production share of around eight percent.

Germany is a major FDI destination country for companies in the whole plastics industry value chain – in both international and European comparison. Germany occupies third place in terms of international plastics FDI attractiveness, and has been Europe’s leading plastics FDI nation for the last decade. The German plastics industry produces for the international market with the added advantage of having the European market as its home market.

International companies have also been setting up businesses along the entire carbon fiber-rein- forced plastics (CFRP) idea-innovation-implementation chain, investing in German companies and entering into collaborative efforts with German firms and research institutions. Within Europe, Germany is the undisputed leader in terms of both plastics manufacturing production and sales. Germany is also Europe’s best-served country in terms of available plastics production facilities. It also records the highest level of plastics demand by converters (i.e. demand expressed as tonnage of virgin resin).

Top European FDI Destination Countries 2011-2015 (%)
  • Germany
  • UK
  • Poland
  • France
  • Spain
  • Russia
  • Hungary
  • Turkey
  • Czechia
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
  • Others
Source: fDi Markets, GTAI - FDI Competence Center - 2016
European Plastics Material Demand (%)
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • France
  • Benelux
  • UK
  • Spain
  • Poland
  • Other Central European Countries
  • Other Western European Countries
Source: PlasticsEurope Market Research Group - 2014

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