Water and Wastewater Technology Exports from Germany

As the elixir of life par excellence, the importance of water in our daily lives is undeniable. Therefore, clean water for everyone is one of the United Nations’ 17 sustainability goals. However, to achieve this goal state-of-the-art technology is indispensable. Thus, it is hardly surprising that the mechanical and plant engineering sector reports that innovative and efficient water and wastewater technology was in greater demand worldwide than ever before in 2022.

Although manufacturers of components and systems for water treatment, wastewater, and sludge treatment in Germany were also confronted with considerable political and economic uncertainties, the previous record level of exports in 2021 was once again exceeded. Compared with 2021, exports in 2022 rose by just under one percent to around 1.2 billion euros.

EU-27: Even more important
48 percent of all exports of water and wastewater technology from Germany were exported to the other EU states. In 2022, the share of these exports increased by four percent to an export volume of 571 million euros. The position of the EU-27 as the most important customer region for domestic manufacturers thus increased once again last year.

For the equally important customer regions of Other Europe (down 3.6 percent), East Asia (down 9.8 percent) and North America (up 7.3 percent), exports each changed in the single-digit percentage range.

For the smaller customer regions, the rates of change were in double digits. The most significant positive changes were in Latin America (up 34.7 percent) and Central and South Asia (up 26.3 percent). The sharpest declines were recorded in North Africa (down 38.1 percent) and Southeast Asia (down 23.1 percent).

Four of the ten most important export markets up
Of the ten most important individual markets for water and wastewater technology from Germany, four markets developed positively and six (in some cases only very slightly) negatively in 2022. Unchanged, France led the ranking of the three most important export markets with 87 million euros (minus 2.9 percent), followed by the USA (84.5 million Euro; up 6.9 percent) and Poland (73.9 million Euro; down 6.4 percent). China, still the most important market in 2020, lost further importance as a market last year (minus 19.3 percent) and ranked only 6th among the most important sales markets behind the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The highest percentage growth in exports from Germany was recorded by the Netherlands with a plus of 47.8 percent.

As in previous years, German suppliers of water and wastewater technology succeeded in offsetting significant declines in exports to individual regions or markets (China, for example) with equally significant increases in other regions or markets.


(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 2/2023, Page 37, Photo: bernhard kuehholzer / pixabay.com)