The year 2015 closed with a good turnover level, stable exports and growth in orders.
The first quarter of 2016 has started with a scenario full of uncertainties, which nevertheless will allow to maintain turnover.
According to final figures, the machine tool sector has improved its closing expectations and ended the year 2015 with an average turnover growth of 7.82%. By subsectors, almost all of them registered growth. Although some experienced higher growth such as the tool sector (+25.3%), machining (+15.7%) and metal-forming (+12.4%), others showed lighter yet positive growth, such as the metal cutting sector (+4.3%). In 2015, the total figure registered in the sector amounts to 1,474.2 million Euros, of which 940.2 belong to machine tools, 183.1 million Euros to components and equipment, 124.1 to other machines, 108.2 to tools, 68.4 to machining and other services, and 57.4 to accessories.
The international scenario is still especially complex, as it has not improved significantly in the past months. Antxon López Usoz, Chairman of AFM Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, warns about the markets’ uncertainties: “Our companies still have an order portfolio that is sufficient to maintain good activity levels. However, instability in certain countries is greater than ever. Specifically, the drop in the demand in Asia is higher, with a doubtful American market and a still fragile situation in Europe”.
At the end of 2015, exports closed a ranking in which the United States (12.6% of total exports) rose to the first place for the first time, followed by Germany (10.4%), China (6.7%), Portugal and Italy (6.6%, each).
In any case, exports remain strong, with a growth of 1.9%. The domestic market has contributed decisively to the growth of the figures. The total volume exported from Spain in 2015 amounted to 1,111.2 million Euros, against 1,090.95 million Euros in 2014. From this figure, 69.5% accounts for machine-tools, with a total of 771.8 million Euros.
“Doubtlessly, the recovery of consumption is relevant. We are confident that Spain still has the chance to grow, since our figures still remain 30-40% lower than our best years”, added López Usoz.
In 2015, the consumption of machine-tools in Spain grew by 35%, an increase that adds to the 25% peak that the market had in 2014. Although the initial figures were very deteriorated, this improvement has become a breath of air for domestic manufacturers (+67.5% in domestic sales) and importers (+26.1%).
Antxon López Usoz says: “We hope that the improvement in the consumption rhythm in Spain remains and the BIEMH is an excellent thermometer to confirm this. Our trade show is full of technology, solutions and innovative proposals for our customers. We only have to fill our halls with visitors. Our expectations are very positive.”
2016 ORDERS AND FORECAST
2015 brought growth in orders of 12.8%, which guarantees activity levels during the first half of this year. Although 2016 began a little slower (-10% in orders in regard to 2015), in line with a scenario which has deteriorated and become more complex. However, the prospective information that we manage does not show relevant drops and could produce a peak in the second semester. By countries, we verified that the trend we see in exports is here to stay, with a relative moderation in the pull from the United States, which will become the 3rd or 4th greatest market. For Spain, we expect the maintenance of levels or even a slight growth in the acquisition of orders. With all this, we expect the year’s figures will show growth of turnover of nearly 5%.