German mining equipment manufacturing body VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen und Anlagenbau – German Engineering Federation) has posted a 2011 sales record, with a 32% increase for the year.

VDMA’s chairman Dr Paul Rheinlander says that means his sector was one of the few in Germany to show uninterrupted growth throughout the entire European economic crisis.

He says despite the financial crisis, increasing global demand for commodities helped to bring about the record increase in orders, with supplier countries forcing up extraction quotas for machinery to extend or open up new mines.

Rising commodity prices have strengthened the attraction of mining operations with a new heavy spar mine opening at Wismut in Germany, for example, and another major copper ore mine set to begin operating in Lusatia within the next three years.

China continues to be the biggest foreign sales market for VDMA mining equipment, with a jump in sales from €323 million to €400 million in 2011. Dr Paul Rheinlander says the country was actively enlarging its extraction capacities for coal and almost all other raw materials found in China.

Russia is the company’s second biggest customer with coal becoming a greater value currency as natural gas consumption reduces.

The VDMA Mining Equipment Association has also launched a series of events to help a large number of medium-sized companies in the machinery manufacturing sector to prepare for the future. Paul Rheinlander, who is also the association’s chairman, says the forums have attracted an outstanding response.

www.vdma.org