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German distribution market in Q1/19

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Published by by Beate Lorenzoni

German Component distribution defies ailing market

German Distribution Market Overview

After two years of surprisingly good results, the first signs of market stagnation are now also becoming apparent in the German component distribution sector. Nevertheless, the turnover of companies organised in the German Association of Component Distribution (Fachverband Bauelemente-Distribution, FBDi e.V.) grew by 4% to 922 million euros. However, orders dropped by close to 17% to 832 million euros, which equates to a book-to-bill ratio of 0.9.

(Comment from FBDi: the overall statistics for 2018 and 2019 were adjusted for the figures of members that no longer participate in the statistics.)

In the large product segments, growth in passive components continued at an above-average rate with 21.4% (to 114 million euros), followed by semiconductors, which were up by 3.5% to 664 million euros. All other product areas, including electromechanics (-4.1% to 89 million euros), were down. As a result, there was a slight shift in favour of passive components (12%) and semiconductors (72%) in terms of the percentage share of the overall market. Electromechanics held its 10% share, while all other segments combined to 6%.

FBDi Chairman, Georg Steinberger: “We're currently witnessing a return to normality in the development of orders and revenues, even though there are still some bottlenecks in certain product segments. However, the first quarter is a good indicator for the rest of the year; we’re not expecting any major leaps and believe that customer warehouses are generally well stocked.”

The macroeconomic influences and the resulting uncertainty are getting bigger, according to Steinberger:

“Brexit has only been delayed, various industries are about to undergo major structural change, and the troubling situation between the USA and China is starting to have a serious impact on the market, most significantly the Huawei situation. The good news: innovation may be slowing down, but it has not stopped. The reshaping of society and industry needs to continue and this can only be achieved through new technology.”

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