For the fourteenth time, Composites Germany has collected the latest figures on the market for fibre-reinforced plastics.
All member companies of the three largest supporting associations: AVK, Composites United and VDMA Working Group Hybrid Lightweight Technologies. In order to ensure the comparability of the various surveys, no changes were made to the survey in this half-year period either. Once again, mainly qualitative data was collected with regard to current and future market developments.
The assessment of the business situation continues to cool down
After the last surveys had already been rather cautious with regard to the assessment of the current business situation, this trend is continuing in the current survey. The respondents continue to assess the general business situation for all three regions covered as negative. The assessment thus reaches the lowest value since the start of the 01/2013 survey.
For example, a total of 37 % of those surveyed assess the general business situation in Germany as rather negative. In the previous survey, this figure was only 26 %. The rather less optimistic assessment of the general market environment thus continues.
The assessment of the business situation of their own company is also often less optimistic. For example, about 1/3 of the respondents rate the situation of their own company as rather negative. There are only slight differences between the different regions (Germany, Europe, Worldwide).
Expectations for the future brighten up slightly
The future expectations of the individual companies brighten up in comparison. The interviewees are looking positively into the future, both for the development of the general as well as their own future development. The development of their own business situation is assessed even more positively and optimistically than the general business situation.
The investment climate clouds over
In contrast to the optimistic view of the investment climate, the indicators show a slight decline. For example, only 29% of those surveyed now expect their company's involvement in composites to increase. With regard to the last of the last survey, the figure was still at 37 %. More than 60% of those surveyed expect the level of commitment to remain the same. Accordingly, the proportion of those who expect staff redundancies for their company has risen from 8% to over 20%.
The growth drivers are developing differently
In the last market survey, those surveyed rated Asia as the region of the world from which the main growth impetus for the composites segment is expected to come, and this trend is set to continue. Europe and Germany are actually losing some ground compared with Asia in terms of the responses.
On the materials side, a central change is evident. Whereas the respondents have so far always named CFRP as the material from which the main growth impetus for the composites segment is expected to come, GFRP is currently being named as the most important material for the first time.
Composites index remains at a low level
The Composites Development Index has fallen significantly in line with these estimates, particularly in the area of current valuations. With regard to future expectations, the index is leveling off slightly or even rising slightly.
However, if one looks at the valuations in detail, for example the above-mentioned assessment of the current business situation, almost 2/3 of those surveyed still assess the situation positively. The picture is therefore clouding over, but cannot yet be fundamentally assessed as negative.
According to Composites Germany, the assessment of the current situation and the market environment in particular, with regard to the continuing weakening of the index, must be taken very seriously, as it continues to show a high degree of dissatisfaction across various economic locations and regions, which appears to be manifesting itself. So far, it would appear that the political situation has not been able to positively influence the economic environment within the very international composites market.
The next composites market survey will be published in July/August 2020.
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