Assocomaplast, the Italian trade association for plastics and rubber machinery has produced its 2013 final report based on ISTAT foreign trade data for the first nine months of the year. The most notable trend was the downturn in exports (down 2.8% across January-September). The report states however that growth “could be recovered” in the final quarter thanks to the expected economic recovery, early signals of which have been noted recently by the Confindustria Research Center. Exports have historically formed the bulk of Italy’s machinery industry, with a market share exceeding 65% of production, so the downturn is significant for the market.
With “caution while awaiting final data for the year”, Assocomaplast projects that production value for the sector will reach just under 4 billion euros, and forecasts that the threshold will be surpassed in 2014 if signs of recovery continue.
The continued downturn in imports (down by 5.4%) reflects the continuing sluggishness of the domestic market, according to Assocomaplast.
More optimistic are the results of the recent survey conducted by Assocomaplast among its members, where half the sample sees recovery in their revenues in the second half of the year with respect to the first half; 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 had a positive impact here: most of those interviewed confirmed that they had had a high number of quality contacts at the German fair.