Italian machinery exports hoping for a revival

Assocomaplast (the Italian trade association belonging to CONFINDUSTRIA, which groups together some 165 makers of machinery, moulds and equipment for plastics and rubber) says that the decline in exports (-2.8% with respect to January-September 2012) could be recovered in the fourth quarter amidst an expected economic recovery, after months of negative performance.

In the latest report released by CONFINDUSTRIA Research Centre, Assocomaplast also projects that production will achieve a similar value to that for 2012, just under EUR4billion, going on to surpass that threshold in 2014.

Meanwhile, the group says that the continuing sluggishness of the domestic market, which has only begun to show some slight sign of improvement in the past few weeks, contributes to the negative performance of imports (-5.4%) . Nevertheless it is raising hopes for a reversal of trend.

In a recent survey it conducted among its members, Assocomaplast found that half of the sample expects a recovery in the revenue in the second half of the year with respect to the first half. Meanwhile, over 40% of respondents reported a positive trend in orders in November, compared both to October 2013 and to November 2012. The recent K in Düsseldorf has probably provided a positive impulse here: most of those interviewed confirmed that they had had a high number of quality contacts at the German fair, obviously hoping that many may transform into actual orders.

An analysis of the destination areas for the industry’s exports indicates a general shrinkage of sales, with the exception of Africa, which represents 5.6% of the total and has grown by an impressive 23% with respect to January-September 2012.

The other principal geographical outlets have all faltered to varying degrees, Assocomaplast cited. The situation, in order of decreasing market size, is as follows:

  • Europe (59.5% of the total), -4.4%; the EU (46.8%) records -2.2%
  • America (17.9%), -4.9%; the NAFTA area recorded the worst performance caused by strong dips in exports to Mexico (-15%) and to the US (-7%), which were not counterbalanced by the +20% to Canada, given its smaller value
  • Asia (16.3%), -1% overall. Two significant results were recorded in Far Eastern markets: China, with a 17% drop in sales of Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery; and Japan, where they more than quadrupled to over EUR25 million driven by major orders for extruders. The Middle East, representing 3.8% of the market, was substantially stagnant, with +0.7% with respect to the equivalent period last year
  • Oceania, a marginal player, recorded a dip of over 9%.

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