Packaging manufacturers saw an increase in production and revenue in 2021, as illustrated by the latest figures from the Gemeinschaftsausschuss Deutscher Verpackungshersteller (Joint Committee of German Packaging Producers, GADV). The bulk of production was represented by paper and cardboard packaging, while plastic packaging accounted for the highest production value.
About 19.6 million tonnes of packaging materials were manufactured in 2021, which equates to a 4.8 percent increase in production volume. Production value increased significantly, by 10.9 percent, to approximately EUR 35.8 billion in 2021. As in previous years, plastic packaging accounted for the largest share of production value at about 44 percent, while paper and cardboard represented the largest share by volume of packaging materials, at about 49 percent.
Despite the positive financial results for 2021, packaging manufacturers are therefore looking to the future with mixed feelings. “Packaging is a product in daily use, and it is needed even in times of crisis,” says Johann Overath, Director-General of the Federal Association of the German Glass Industry (BV Glas) and spokesperson for GADV. “The question, however, is what form manufacturing will take in the future, and how we can keep a focus on our key targets regarding climate neutrality.”
Strong export performance for packaging machines
The packaging machinery sector, which has a strong export focus, is currently being slowed by adverse conditions and crises affecting production and the global economy. Based on the export volume achieved in the first half of the year, combined with a good order book, a small increase in production is still expected for 2022. According to the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Division, the production volume for packaging machinery increased by 4.6 percent in 2021, to EUR 7 billion.
Exports by the approximately 300 manufacturers rose to EUR 5.922 billion in 2021 (previous year: EUR 5.673 billion), which is only slightly below the previous record volume achieved before the Covid-19 pandemic. The value of exports accounts for 84 percent of the production volume. The largest buyers of German packaging machines have traditionally been the EU countries, ahead of North America and Asia. In terms of buyer countries, the USA is well ahead of China, France and Poland.
Global foreign trade in packaging machinery totals almost EUR 22 billion, with the highly innovative German industry having occupied the top position (currently about 26 percent) ahead of Italy for a number of years.
FACHPACK (27.-29.9.2021, Nuremberg) is the European trade fair for packaging, technology, and processes, where exhibitors showcase their products for the packaging process chain for industrial and consumer goods. On display will be packaging materials, packaging and accessories, bottling and packaging machinery, labelling, marking and identification technology, machines and equipment for the packaging periphery, packaging printing and finishing systems, palletising technology, intra-logistics and services. With its new slogan: “We create the future”, FACHPACK 2022 will be devoted to the trending topic of “Transition in Packaging”.
In 2022, POWTECH, the leading international trade fair for powder, granule and bulk solids technologies, will take place at Exhibition Centre Nuremberg at the same time as FACHPACK. This will create additional synergies in the processing and packaging segment.