New All-Time Records for Italian Plastics Machinery
Double Digit Increase over 2016
According to Amaplast (Italian trade association, member of Confindustria, bringing together about 170 manufacturers of plastics and rubber processing machinery, equipment and molds), a double digit increase over 2016 in all macroeconomic indicators means new all-time records for the Italian market of machinery, equipment and molds for plastics and rubber.
Lacking objective statistical surveys, Amaplast analysis shows production sustained by excellent performance in exports, the destination for 70% of the Italian-made products in the sector, as well as by the domestic market, which is showing clear signs of recovery, probably explained by the measures implemented by the National Industry 4.0 Plan to support investment in capital equipment. The expansion of the domestic market is also indicated by quite positive performance in imports.
Regarding macro-areas, the geography of export has witnessed overall growth in European destinations, mainly within the EU, where the top two export markets, Germany and France, have grown by more than 20 percentage points since 2016. However, impressive numbers are also seen much further down in the rankings, specifically in tenth place, where Romania records +69% with a surge in purchases during the last quarter that once again dislodged Russia from the top ten (by just one spot). Nevertheless, the Russian recovery still continues apace (+67%) with the value of Italian machinery exports nearly reaching EUR 100 million. The trend in sales to Asia has been weak due to a slowdown in exports to the Middle East (especially Saudi Arabia and Iran), and only modest growth (less than +5%) in sales to the Far East, where the two major markets have slipped somewhat: China (-2.5%) and India (-6%).
Sales to the United States record final growth of 20%, following peaks as high as +30% during the year. Supplies to Mexico, on the other hand, have fallen by approximately 17%, which at least took some of the edge off the more than 20 point losses in previous months. According to Amaplast, no one expected the 2016 boom to last forever. The Trump administration’s threat to impose import taxes on various product categories is not expected to affect plastics and rubber processing machinery, equipment and molds. U.S. production in this sector cannot meet demand from local manufacturers and the taxes would only be counterproductive. In South America, the recovery in the flow of supplies to Brazil continues unabated, approaching +40% with respect to 2016 for an overall value once again over EUR 50 million.
Would you like to subscribe to our Newsletters on plastics technology and profit from the latest information?
Looking for a new challenge? Check out our jobs market!
Patents encourage innovation: Stay on the ball with the latest innovations in the plastics industry in our patents section.