German industry hit by shortages of intermediate products: ifo Institute

Shortages of intermediate products became a “serious problem” for Germany’s manufacturing industry, the ifo Institute said Monday.

Forty-five percent of manufacturing companies in Germany recorded bottlenecks in April, “by far the highest value since January 1991,” according to a survey by the ifo Institute among 2,200 companies. Back in January, the figure was only 18.1 percent.

“This new bottleneck could jeopardize the recovery of the manufacturing sector,” said Klaus Wohlrabe, head of surveys at the ifo Institute, in a statement.

Manufacturers of rubber and plastic goods were particularly affected, with 71.2 percent of them reporting material shortage, higher than the 64.7 percent among carmakers and their suppliers, according to the ifo Institute.

Global bottlenecks for electronic chips have forced Germany’s carmakers Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler to halt or reduce production. German car parts supplier Continental also warned of challenges in its business activities due to the “continued shortage of semiconductors.”

At the end of March, the container ship Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal and thus stopped many imports to Europe from Asia. In addition, “computer chips and wood, for example, are currently in short supply,” the ifo Institute noted.