Machine tool orders gloomy

As can be expected machine tool orders are down in most of the leading manufacturing countries in the world.

German machine tool industry reports gloomy results
Orders received by the German machine tool industry in the second quarter of 2020 were 46 per cent down on the same period last year. In the process orders from Germany fell by 36 per cent. 51 per cent fewer orders were received from abroad. In the first half of 2020, the level of orders fell by 35 per cent. Domestic orders were 28 per cent lower than in the previous year. The level of orders from abroad was reduced by 39 per cent.

“The second quarter figures clearly show the impact of the corona lockdown,” said Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the VDW (Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken – the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association), Frankfurt am Main, commenting on the results.

“Many customer sectors, especially the aviation and automotive industries, are experiencing sharp declines in sales. Short time work, temporary production shutdowns and liquidity shortfalls are the consequences. Global investment activity nearly came to a virtual standstill during the hard lockdown phase. It is encouraging to note, however, that the downturn in the level of orders received now appears to have bottomed out. In June, there was a noticeable increase compared with the two previous months.”

Japanese machine tool orders decline 32 per cent
The total value of Japanese machine tool orders in June 2020 was 67.19 billion yen, an increase of 31.1% compared to May 2020 and marked the first month of month-on-month growth in three months. However, this figure represented a decrease of 32.1% compared to the same month of 2019 and marked the 21st consecutive month of year-on-year decline, reports JMTBA (Japan Machine Tool Builders Association).

The total value of orders received exceeded 60 billion yen for the first time in three months, but as of June, it was less than 70 billion yen for the first time in 11 years since 2009 (34.97 billion yen), thus demand has been sluggish due to the spread of COVID-19.

Domestic orders rose by 28.4% over May, amounting to 23.36 billion yen. This marked the first month of month-on-month increase in three months; however this figure was a decline of 38.0% from the same month of 2019 and marked the 19th consecutive months of year-on-year decline. Looking at major industries, orders compared to May rose by 16.9% in industrial machinery, by 47.2% in motor vehicles, by 56.4% in electrical and precision machinery, and by 62.1% in aircraft, shipbuilding and transport equipment.

Export orders rose by 32.6% over May to 43.83 billion yen and marked the first month of month on-month growth in six months. Export orders however showed a decrease of 28.4% from the same month of 2019, and marked the twenty-first consecutive month of year-on-year decline.

Italian machine tool industry experiences significant business decline
As expected, there was again a decrease in the index of the orders collected by the Italian machine tool manufacturers in the second quarter 2020. According to the data processed by the Economic Studies Department & Business Culture of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, in the period April-June 2020, the index registered a 39.1% downturn compared with the same period of 2019.

The outcome was due both to the reduction in the orders collected by Italian manufacturers on the domestic market (minus 44.7%) and to the fall reported in export markets (minus 37.8%).