Stronger demand ensured an increase in employment, production and sales for plastics producers in Germany in 2021.
According to the balance sheet presented by the PlasticsEurope Deutschland association in Hamburg at the beginning of May, the companies benefited from the slight recovery of the economy after the Corona slump. Plastics production in Germany in 2021 increased by 17.2 percent year-on-year to 21.3 million metric tons, according to the data. Total sales by plastics producers in Germany and abroad increased by 33.8 percent to 31 billion euros, due in equal parts to volume growth and higher prices, it said. The industry performed valiantly, although the year was marked by economic ups and downs, said the outgoing chairman of PlasticsEurope Deutschland, Dr. Michael Zobel (photo), at the business press conference. According to Zobel, lockdowns, material shortages on the markets and strained supply chains caused uncertainty among companies, as did price increases for precursors and energy. Looking ahead to 2022, he said the economic volatility of the pandemic period was not comparable to the challenges and impact of the Ukraine war. He added that the Russian war of aggression in Eastern Europe jeopardizes raw material security, significantly increases the cost of energy, and even disrupts or completely interrupts transportation routes. Due to significantly higher production costs in combination with a gloomy global economy, there was a threat of a slump in purchasing power and demand. According to Zobel, the extent to which plastics producers will be able to pass on the price increases as they did in 2021 is questionable. Ingemar Bühler, CEO of PlasticsEurope Germany, stressed that the "green transformation of the industry is a matter of the utmost urgency" and that this primarily requires sufficient affordable energy. Here, he said, policymakers need to make pragmatic changes, which they are already doing to a large extent. According to Bühler, more must also be done to achieve the 1.5-degree target set in Paris and to avoid irreversible effects on the climate - with more recycling management, renewable raw materials, and renewable energies. At the world's leading trade fair K in Düsseldorf in October, PlasticsEurope Deutschland will present exclusive innovations from the industry and discuss the trade fair's key topics of the circular economy, climate change and digitalization with experts from politics and industry at the special show "Plastics shape the future".
The annual report of PlasticsEurope Deutschland has just been published, which among other things provides background information on the economic development of plastics producers in 2021 and reports on the new value chain initiative "Wir sind Kunststoff". The annual report is available online at www.plasticseurope.org/de (in German).