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Rising energy costs worry Germany's packaging firms

January 9, 2014

Germany's packaging industry has started 2014 with what its trade group calls "greater optimism" than during the same time last year.

According to the latest economic trend survey from the Industrievereinigung Kuntstoffverpackungen 41 percent of respondents believed they would see improved turnover this year, nearly double the percentage seen at the start of 2013.

Companies also seemed more confident in the area of exports, the IK said.

However the impact of rising costs was likely to dent the prospects of some, with raw material price hikes in December being followed by recent announcements of further rises.

Energy prices were likely to prove another major concern, the IK reported. Starting in 2014, German packaging manufacturers were required to pay 0.06 euros ($0.08) per kilowatt hour for a renewable energy law allocation – effectively a 'green levy' – in addition to already rising energy costs.

Energy efficiency was consequently a big issue for virtually all domestic packaging firms, according to the IK.

Germany's federal government, meanwhile, was being pressured to "implement a market-oriented energy concept which will guarantee private end-users and the industry a secure and affordable supply", the IK said.