Italian plastics and rubber machinery 2014: further growth of imports and exports

  • Exports rose by over 4%, import by over 7%
  • Lack of confidence in the recovery of the domestic market
  • Asia with sustainable export growth

The Italian trade association Assocomaplast has compared foreign trade data of the first nine months of 2014 (January-September) with data for the same period in 2013 and confirms further growth in both imports and exports. Exports rose by over 4% while purchases from abroad grew by over 7%.

Export: traditional driver has lost some of its momentum

However, the positive trend in exports, the traditional driver for Italian manufacturers of plastics and rubber processing machinery, has lost some of its momentum in recent months. Businesses in the sector do not seem to feel confidence in the recovery of the domestic market. Hence a prudent assessment by Assocomaplast envisages a year-end balance substantially in line with that of 2013.

Europe as principal destination of foreign sales

An increase of 4.5% is recorded in exports to Europe, which is confirmed as the principal destination of foreign sales for Italian manufacturers, up to a total of EUR 1.13 billion. The EU markets absorbed 80% of that value, with average growth greater than that in the rest of Europe. Indeed in the extra-EU European countries, the crisis with Russia has had a strong impact, causing orders to fall by about 20%.

Asian trade led by China, Indonesia performed well

The Americas have shown a positive trend. But it must be pointed out that this is mainly due to a very good sales to the United States and Mexico, with an increase of about 20%. Sales to Central and South America have stalled, with a decrease of 22% in sales to Brazil weighing heavily. The most sustained progress was witnessed in exports to Asian markets, which increased by 7.4%. China leads here, but Indonesia has also performed well, while sales to Japan were nearly cut in half. Exports of plastics and rubber processing machinery to Africa and Oceania have also fallen off.

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