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Situation improved compared to previous year

European and local suppliers put pressure on German exporters

The export in the food industry in December 2015 exceeded the level of the previous years. The trade situation and expectations increased with +8 points to +42 points. However, due to the usual seasonal effects the export was more subdued than in the 2015 summer. The developments influenced equally the positive assessments of the current business as well as the expectations for the export in the next six months. In the different sectors the mood remained heterogeneous. The export climate of fruit and vegetables processing was more than positive. 



According to the companies the Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, the USA, China, Austria and the UK are the most important export markets. The share of food exporters, exporting to other countries than Europe, has risen to 76%. The expectation of the sales for the coming 6 months is for most markets constant, only in the export to China, USA, Australia and Denmark is expected to increase. The expectations for the Russian trade appear more balanced than six months ago, but 28 percent of exporters count on continued lower sales.

The export business didn’t achieve sufficient growth in the food industry however in international trade the competitive pressure and market barriers have increased significantly. In the first 6 months of 2015 the food export grew with 0.5% to 26.1 billion Euros. Export is a focus point for the companies and most handle the export themselves Europe 74%, other countries 60%), followed by export through a middleman.

Three years ago the food exporting companies saw the German producers as their main competition, now the situation has changed significantly. The main competitors worldwide are the Netherlands (28%), France (23%), Italy (20%) and the USA (18%0 and China (16%). On the ten largest import markets for food in the world, the majority of German exporters are not represented, with the exception of the Netherlands and Italy. Over the past three years, the competitive situation has not changed on the largest food import markets. The main competitors for the German food exporting companies are mostly local suppliers and European competitors.

"The global agricultural trade is demand-driven and dynamic, but also more complex. Internationally oriented company must adhere to constantly changing standards and regulations. 
The foreign competitors in the food industry access increasingly faster markets, and German manufacturers loose important competitive advantages," reacts Christoph Minhoff Chief Executive of the Federal Association of the German Food Industry (BVE), on the current results of the export barometer.

Gerd Bovensiepen, Head of the Competence Center Retail & Consumer PwC in Germany and Europe explains: “To deal with the enormous global pressures, food manufacturers must constantly reinvent themselves and simultaneously ensure high standards in quality and product safety. Innovative companies and digitalization together with a customer focused offer and a integrated supply chain offer companies a chance to meet these challenges and remain competitive on an international level.”

The export barometer of the German food producing companies has been put together for the twelfth time by PwC commissioned by the BVE.

Source: www.bve-online.de

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