Germany’s component distribution market moved tentatively into 2015 registering growth of 3.4% to 783m Euro. FBDi, Germany’s distribution industry association, reports orders up two per cent to 792m Euro. Growth in Germany was significantly below the European average, which had already reached double figures in the first quarter.
FBDi explains the divergent trends by the fact that, outside Germany, many of the distributors are invoicing their customers in US dollars or other currencies, which have all made double-digit gains over the year, compared to the Euro.
Georg Steinberger, FBDi Chairman of the board, says: “The decline of the euro against the US dollar or British pound amounted to almost 20% during one year. In Germany or Italy, where the major part of the business is conducted, the growth rates were fairly normal, whereas Scandinavia, France and Eastern Europe have achieved a high double-digit growth rate. Business is usually based on the US dollar in these areas. Additionally, we’re currently seeing significant price increases from a broad range of component manufacturers due to the exchange rate fluctuations.”
Concerning the technologies, the shifts are marginal. Semiconductors are again showing above-average growth of 6.1% to 554m Euro, which corresponds to a share of nearly 70% of the total market. Passive components shrunk by 3.4% to 110m Euro, representing a share of 14%. The electromechanical sector shows a similar picture, having declined by 3.7% to nearly 80m Euro and a share of 10%. Displays have lost 6.9% to around 21m Euro, nearly 3% of the market; whereas power supplies (batteries, accumulators, converters) have grown by 23% to 19m Euro (2.5% share of the total market).
Georg Steinberger adds: “After a very successful year in 2014, the first quarter of this year was rather subdued. Semiconductors have developed normally in view of the currency situation, but it is hard to understand why passives have weakened after the positive development in 2014. Electromechanical components and displays have continued the rather weak trend of 2014.”
Steinberger expects a mixed picture in 2015: “The exchange rate fluctuations are likely to balance out during the year. Also, the economic situation in Europe is not too bad – Central, Northern and Western Europe are stable, Eastern Europe continues to grow, and the South (Spain and Italy) is stabilising. In fact, things wouldn’t look so bad if we didn’t have the ongoing crisis in Greece and weak growth in China, one of our most important export markets. However, we’re expecting stable single-digit growth in 2015.”