The German glass industry is coming out of the coronavirus crisis better than expected.

Latest manufacturing figures from BV Glas show that while sales in the first half of 2020 fell, economic indicators suggest an upturn has already started across all segments.

Total sales in the glass industry in Germany fell by 4.1% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in the previous year to around € 4.70 billion (2019: € 4.90 billion).

Both domestic and foreign sales declined with a decrease of 5.7 and 1.8% respectively.
The most difficult segment was flat glass manufacturing where sales fell by 15% to €454 million (2019: €534 million).

The sector was particularly hard hit by the standstill in the automotive industry, for which it is an important supplier. The flat glass refiners also suffered a loss: their overall result fell by 6.7% to €1.74 billion (2019: €1.87 billion).

The current business cycle index shows, however, that the flat glass industry is already picking up again.

Hollow glass was also down. The segment consists of container and economic glass (drinking glasses). The 2.1% decline in sales to €1.28 billion (2019: € 1.31 billion) is due to the poor economic situation among commercial glass manufacturers.

In contrast, the production value in the container glass industry rose by 8.5%. The industry benefited from the shift in the consumption of food and beverages to the home.

The business expectations for manufacturers of pharmaceutical glass are also positive. The industry is prepared to produce millions of glass containers for filling a vaccine against coronavirus.

The manufacturers of glass fibres and special glass closed the first half of 2020 with an increase in sales.

While it is rather moderate for glass fibers with an increase of 0.9% to €504 million (2019: €500 million), the special glass industry increased significantly by 5.1% to €729 million (2019: €694 million).

BV-Glas President Dr. Frank Heinricht said: “The glass industry is coming out of the corona crisis better than expected.

"It is particularly gratifying that the sectors that were particularly hard hit by the crisis are doing better again. Business expectations are already rising again in a number of areas, so that we are optimistic about the second half of 2020.”