Metal industry recovers some of its lustre

29/11/2004 10:00

Turnover in the Dutch metal industry was 11 percent higher in the third quarter of 2004 than in the same period last year. In the previous quarter turnover was 7 percent higher, in the first quarter it was 3 percent higher. The increase in turnover from exports was 16 percent higher in the third quarter than twelve months previously.

Turnover in the metal industry

Turnover in the metal industry

First quarter 2004 turning point

Following a period of growth, turnover in the metal industry started to decrease after the first half of 2001. It came out lower than twelve months previously for ten successive quarters. The tide turned in the first quarter of 2004, and turnover started to grow again compared with the same period twelve months previously.

Exports push up turnover

The more positive results in the metal industry were caused by the increase in exports. In the first quarter of 2004, turnover generated abroad was 8 percent higher, while domestic turnover was still 2 percent lower than twelve months previously.

In the second quarter the growth rate of export turnover doubled, nearly reaching 14 percent. In this quarter, too, domestic turnover was still 2 percent lower than in the same quarter of 2003.

In the third quarter of 2004 foreign turnover increased by 16 percent compared with the same quarter last year. Domestic turnover also started to grow in this quarter, and was 3 percent higher than twelve months previously.

Domestic and foreign turnover in the metal industry

Domestic and foreign turnover in the metal industry

Production also up

Part of the increase in turnover was caused by higher prices, but production too has shown a clear increase. It shows a development similar to that of turnover: two positive quarters in 2001 were followed by ten quarters in which production was lower than one year previously. Here, too, the turning point came in the first quarter of 2004, and since then production has been higher in every quarter than in the corresponding period in 2003.

Volume of average daily production, metal industry

Volume of average daily production, metal industry

Big player

The metal industry is an important sector within the manufacturing industry. It accounts for about 30 percent of total manufacturing turnover.

In the first nine months of 2004, turnover in the basic metal sector rose by most. In the third quarter it was as much as 35 percent higher than in the same quarter last year. The metal products, machinery and equipment, electrical engineering and transport equipment sectors also booked more turnover. Starting from the first quarter of this year, therefore, the metal industry has regained some of its lustre.

Hen van der Bosch