German market still dropping dramatically

In 2008, Germany‘s brick and tile industry again registered substantial declines in all product ranges. Indeed, the country‘s masonry brick producers have seen their turnover drop by more than half over the past 13 years. Even roof tile manufacturers, who in recent years managed to take market share from competitor products, are now also skidding into the general sales slump.

Unfortunately for many, the severe drop in demand has engendered substantial concentration in many branches of industry, including the brick and tile sector. Martin Roth, General Secretary of the Federal German Association of the Brick and Tile Industry, Regd, comments: “Due to the years-long crisis and resultant competitive pressure, prices for heavy clay products in Germany are still lower than anywhere else in Europe. Well, that does help exports to neighbouring countries, at least. At the same time, intense competition with other construction materials has given rise to German bricks and tiles of uniquely high quality by global comparison, including numerous innovations.”

Data recently released by the Federal Statistical Office shows masonry brick production dropping by 14.5 % in 2008 vs. 2007. A total of 7 126 million m³ of masonry bricks were produced that year (2007: 8 335 million m³). In financial terms, the trend was just the same: 2008 revenues from masonry brick production totalled some 461,112 million €, after turnover totalling 542 451 million € in 2007 (- 15 %). That amounts to a major setback, since the financial worth of the previous statistical analysis had only shown a drop of 1.7 %.

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