Interview by end of November 2013

Friedrich-Georg Kehrer, Director wire 2014 and Tube 2014:

In April of next year, wire and Tube will take place again simultaneously in Düsseldorf. What is the overall economical status in these industries?

Kehrer: As we all know, the steel industry is at the beginning of the supply chain, making it a reliable indicator for the rest of the economy. As the largest raw steel producer in the EU, Germany – with 42.7 million tons in the ear 2012 – is number 7 worldwide. Germany is also number 7, behind South Korea, in the area of hot-rolled products.

The steel industry is looking to 2014 with optimism: According to the Steel Trade Association, an upswing in the steel industry is expected. In spite of all uncertainties, the association expects a production increase of approximately 3% in 2014. The global demand for steel also remains on a growth course.

The NE metal industry also recorded an economic upswing in the first half of 2013. 70% of the companies surveyed in the NE metal industry assess their current business situation as good or typical for the season, as was reported by the German Metals Trade Association. The production level for this year is anticipated to be similar to that of 2012.

The perspectives are also on the positive side: More than 85% of the companies predict equally good or better business in the coming six months.

Aluminium manufacturers can expect stable business results. In fact, production levels in 2013 may surpass those from 2012. The mood in the industry, which is benefiting from the trend to increasingly lighter cars and aircraft, could be described as "cautiously optimistic".

German NE companies produced a total of approximately four million tons of NE metals in the first half of 2013. 43% of this product was exported.

In summary, the economic climate inside of which wire and Tube will take place in April seems quite favourable.

What is the state of affairs today, five months before the trade fairs begin?

Kehrer: To begin with, we are confident that we will achieve a good level of registrations again with the 2014 fairs. Once more we are expecting more than 2,500 companies and more than 100,000 square metres of rented space. 15 exhibition halls are occupied.

Five months before wire 2014 begins, more than 58,000 square metres are booked in halls 9 through 12 and 15 through 17. That is already more than the total space booked in 2012, and with that the exhibition halls for wire 2014 are full. It is still possible, however, to get onto a waiting list.

For Tube, 49,000 square metres have already been booked. In 2012 the total space occupied in halls 1 through 7a was 48,500 square metres. Again here we are seeing the trend toward larger stands and a more substantial trade fair presence – a development that was observed in the previous events.

What status do the wire and Tube trade fairs have internationally?

Kehrer: The two trade fairs are worldwide by far the leading trade fairs in their respective industries. As a platform for "mother trade fairs", Düsseldorf is internationally the number one meeting place for steel experts and professionals in the NE metals segment from around the globe. Here, technological innovations in the wire, cable and tube industries are presented. Here, exhibitors meet with their international clientele and establish new contacts for future business. No expanding company can afford not to show their colours in Düsseldorf.

What is different compared with the previous events in 2012?

Kehrer: One thing that is different in 2014 is an even stronger classification of the individual exhibition areas. For example, we have the very first PTF – Plastic Tube Forum – in hall 7.1. Here, plastic tube manufacturers, dealers and consumers have the opportunity to present their combined competency in one special area. Why a separate forum? Because the plastic tube market is facing major challenges as well as opportunities in the areas of energy and environmental technology.

There is also a shift of emphasis at wire: For the first time, all exhibitors in the area of mesh welding machines are consolidated together in hall 16. Around 20 companies will be presenting their latest products on roughly 2,000 square metres. Here, companies such as Schlatter, EVG, Ideal and PEDAX will show concentrated technological power in one exhibition hall.

How are the focal points of the offerings distributed among the halls?

Kehrer: At wire 2014, wire, cable and fibreglass machines will be located in halls 9 through 12, 16 and 17. The areas of wire and cable production will also be found there, as will trade.

Forming (fastener technology) will again be presented in hall 15, and spring making and mesh welding machine exhibitors will be in hall 16.

At Tube 2014, tube accessories will be located in halls 1 and 2. Tube trade and manufacturing will be in hall 2, as well as in halls 3, 4, 7.0 and 7.1. The China Pavilion will also be in hall 2.

Tube-Forming technology will be located in hall 5, and tube processing machines will be shown in halls 6 and 7a. Machines and systems will also be in hall 7a.

The premiere of the PTF special exhibition will be in hall 7.1. Profiles will be located throughout halls 1 through 7.0.

Where do most of the exhibitors come from?

Kehrer: Traditionally, exhibitors from Italy, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Germany are strongly represented. The majority of the exhibitors from overseas are from the USA, India, Taiwan and China.

Which countries do most of the visitors of wire and Tube come from?

Kehrer: Once again we are expecting around 70,000 trade visitors over the five days of the trade fairs. The majority of the trade fair visitors come from the strongest production and customer countries, such as Italy, Belgium, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, Turkey and Germany. Overseas visitors come primarily from the USA, Brazil, India and China.

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