Italian machinery sector driven by export in 2012

According to report from the Assocomaplast, an Italy-based trade association of plastic and rubber machinery manufacturers, the country’’s mechanical equipment sectors’ production output showed an upward trend, driven by exports; and despite a weak domestic demand over the year, the manufacturers were still able to offset deficits.

In fact, the periodic business climate survey conducted by Assocomaplast on a sample of Italian processors also revealed a steep downturn in the domestic market over the course of 2012, which clearly also curbed the firms’ propensity to invest in new machinery.

That said, the most recent 3-4 month forecast shows a less pessimistic outlook.

According to the latest bimonthly survey conducted by the Association among its machinery makers members, respondents do not expect to see significant changes in orders for equipment in the coming months.

As for exports, an analysis of the equipment categories accounting for the most significant shares of the total, excluding the generic and/or aggregate groupings, shows sales of extruders up by 9 percentage points, and blow moulding machines up by 18 points.

Demand for injection moulding machines dropped by 20% in 2012 (compared to 2011), as a result of certain long-established manufacturers going out of business or experiencing severe difficulties.

The main destination countries for extruders (each accounting for between EUR22-26 million) were Germany, Russia, France and China, with double-digit increases compared to 2011.

However, blow moulding machines are generating stronger demands, especially for the US (up from EUR11 to over 20 million), making the latter a top destination market for this category of machines; Russia (up from EUR3 to 7 millions) and Poland (up from less than EUR600.000 to 4.7 millions), to mention only the most salient examples of year-on-year change.

Moulds currently account for over a quarter of total exports, and ended 2012 with a 19 percentage point increase compared to 2011.

Mould exports to Serbia is up from EUR1.4 to over 21 million (probably partly attributed to the FIAT factory at Kragujevac), as well as higher sales to Poland (+37%, to reach around 48 million) and the US (+71% to reach 22 million).

It is worth noting that the trends, which emerge from the regional breakdown of the sector’s exports – and namely an increase in sales to Europe and North America set against decline in sales to South-America and, even more so, to Asia – also spill over to other countries that manufacture this type of machinery.

Meanwhile, the report also indicated that for 2012, the five top countries for Italian exports are Germany (with 14.6% of the total, and a 6.8% increase); France (6.8%; +10.9%); US (6.2%; +32.9%); China (5.4%;-6.4%); and Russia (5.2% +17.8%).


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