After two years of enforced restraint, more rockets could begin to take to the skies on New Year's Eve. German fireworks manufacturers are at least reporting a significant increase in demand. Some of these can no longer be satisfied. German firecrackers are also becoming increasingly popular abroad.
After two Corona winters, the German fireworks manufacturers are expecting good New Year's business again this year: Many companies are no longer accepting orders because they are either sold out or have no more transport capacities, said Ingo Schubert, Chairman of the Federal Association for Pyrotechnics and Artificial Fireworks , the editorial network Germany (RND). "We sense that many people have missed the colorful New Year's Eve tradition. There is a desire to catch up."
The association assumes that the New Year's Eve fireworks will take place again this year as usual, Schubert said. However, inflation and other burdens could dampen demand somewhat, meaning that sales will probably remain at the pre-coronavirus level instead of growing.
Compared to the years before the corona pandemic, the import of fireworks has fallen massively this year. From January to September, around 5,700 tons of fireworks were imported into Germany, according to the Federal Statistical Office. This is a decrease of 81 percent compared to 2019, when 29,800 tons were imported. Almost all imported fireworks came from China.
According to statistics, however, imports increased compared to the pandemic year 2021. In the whole of 2021, only 2300 tons of firecrackers and rockets were imported into Germany. According to the Federal Office, the main reason for the low level in the previous year was the ban on the sale of New Year's Eve fireworks at the time. This was intended to protect the hospitals, which were heavily used as a result of the corona pandemic, from overloading - for example due to accidents with fireworks.
In contrast to the low import figures, more fireworks are exported from Germany, according to information from Wiesbaden. While around 2,200 tons were exported in the first three quarters of 2019, exports have already risen to 2,700 tons this year. The most important buyers of German fireworks so far this year have been the Netherlands (49 percent), Italy (23 percent) and Belgium (18 percent).
A fundamental ban on fireworks, which has been discussed in the meantime against the background of the corona crisis, has not yet been decided. According to the Federal Office, however, some cities want to ban private fireworks this year, at least in some places. The Federal Association of Pyrotechnics criticized calls for a ban on fireworks on New Year's Eve. Fireworks are "of great value for many people," said association chairman Ingo Schubert. "After two years of the ban in the context of the corona pandemic, people are longing for the fiery New Year's tradition."