Assocomaplast Reports Positive Performance for Italy's Plastics Machinery Industry
The statistical analysis performed by Assocomaplast (Italian trade association, part of Coonfindustria, representing over 160 companies) on foreign trade data provided by Istat regarding the first six months of this year, reveals – in comparison to January-June 2014 – a markedly positive performance for Italy's exports and imports of plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and molds.
The growth recorded since the first months of 2014 has continued this year and has actually increased: by the end of June 2015, the rise in purchases from abroad approached 17%. Sales outside Italy increased by 7.5%. The trade balance also improved. This provides further reassurance of economic recovery for the domestic market, though it cannot yet be described as a glittering performance.
“Such trend” remarked Alessandro Grassi, President of Assocomaplast, "is in fact in line with the results revealed by our latest sentiment survey throughout our membership of the current status of business.” The survey revealed a climate of moderate optimism, both as regards recent results – in July, 50% of the interviewees indicated an increase in orders with respect to a year ago – and as regards outlook, with 44% of interviewees expecting further expansion, and 45% expecting a consolidation of its turnover over the current six-month period.
Germany as the Main Market
From the point of view of equipment types, the largest volumes of imported injection molding machines, flexographic printing machines and molds – to mention those making up the largest proportion of the total, though the same applies to other types of equipment – were recorded for Germany, the country that confirms its role as principal supplier of technology for Italy. Germany, historically also the most important destination market for Italian exports in this sector, confirms its position from this point of view as well. German processors purchased Made in Italy plant equipment for a value of almost EUR 200 million (+19% with respect to the first six months of 2014).
In terms of geographical macro-areas for sales overall, there was a notable increase in business from EU countries and the NAFTA group. Amongst the UE countries there was an increase of sales in Germany, as already mentioned, but also in Spain and the Czech Republic. As regards North America, the most significant result was the 36% increase in exports to the United States, along with the figure of +15% in Mexico. Encouraging results also arrived from Brazil, with a 17% improvement that induces hope at least for stabilization, in contrast to the reductions seen over the last four years.
The further decline in exports to Russia (-39%), still negatively affected by the problems caused by the Ukraine crisis, comes as no surprise. Negative values were also seen for India (-24%), where Italian suppliers are finding it difficult to make headway notwithstanding the market's potential, and China, where there are marked swings in performance from year to year.
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