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German distribution market in Q2/19

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Published by by Beate Lorenzoni

German Component distribution records weak order situation

German Distribution Market Overview

For the first time after two years the decreasing order situation in the German component distribution results in a slight drop in turnover. Sales of distribution companies under the umbrella of the Fachverband Bauelemente-Distribution (FBDi e.V.) dropped by 2% to 879 Million Euro. Orders further weakened to around 748 Million Euro, equating to a book-to-bill ratio of 0.85.

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

Regarding the major product segments, semiconductors and passive components remained at the previous year's level (623 Million Euro or 112 Million Euro), electromechanics dropped by 12% to 91 Million Euro, power supplies dropped by 7% to 26 Million Euro. The smaller product segments (displays, assemblies and devices) also declined, only sensors grew by 22%. The market share has scarcely changed: semiconductors held a 70% share, passive components 13%, electromechanics 11%, all other segments combined to 6%.


Georg Steinberger, FBDi Chairman of the board comments: “Unfortunately, it appears that the return from an overheated market back to normality turns out to be too normal. Order situation, especially in regards to semiconductors and passive components, is poorer than expected. But, concerning the turnover there is already winners and losers, i.e. memories, opto-electronic components and passives (except of capacitors). After all, the first half year closed still with a total plus of 1%. For the second half year we must assume a minus due to declining orders.”


The general uncertainty caused by Brexit, controversy in customs and other macroeconomic distortions will remain, according to Steinberger:

“If we are very realistic and we add hard realities –  like climate change, end of throwaway society - to the political confusion, this leads us to mixed prospects for the short-term market development. On a long term, I am convinced that only sustainable technology and innovation can contribute to a macrosocial solution. This  is a big challenge, but offers huge potential for our industry.”

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