Food processing, packaging machinery exports soared in 2014For the fifth year in a row, exports of German food processing and packaging machinery increased; in 2014, it grew to almost $8.7 billion, up 3 percent over the 2013 numbers, according to the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association.

“The increasing mechanization of food production in emerging nations, in particular, has clearly boosted demand over the past few years,” says Richard Clemens, director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association, about the prospects for 2015.

The 28-member European Union continues to be the strongest export region for German food processing and packaging machinery, which boasts a 34 percent share of the market. The EU was followed by Asia (19 percent), other European countries (14 percent) and North America (12 percent). However, the largest growth region was the Near East and Middle East (30 percent, a 2 percent edge over Southeast Asia). VDMA says the biggest areas of decline were in Central and South Asia (-18 percent) and Africa (-10 percent).

Despite these findings, the VDMA says the US is the most important single market for German manufacturers, with sales amounting to $922 million. The US was distantly followed by China and Russia. France, the UK, Poland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Austria rounded out the remaining top 10.

 “Market prospects for the sector, comprising mainly mid-sized enterprises, are good because economic indicators from the important markets—except for Russia—are positive,” says VDMA. With an average export quota of 87 percent, German manufacturers have been the international leaders for many years, says VDMA.