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ASSAGO, ITALY (Sept. 26, 11:45 a.m. ET) — Exports from Italy of extrusion machinery increased in the first half of 2012, while exports of injection molding machines fell, according to Assocomaplast, the trade group representing Italy’s manufacturers of plastics and rubber machinery.
Total machinery and molds exports were 1.23 billion euros ($1.57 billion) in the first six months, an 11 percent increase from the first half of 2011. Imports of machinery grew by 6 percent to 300 million euros ($385 million), which Assocomaplast said was “a clear reflection of the persistent and extreme weakness of the domestic market.”
The group said that exports strengthened in the second quarter after relatively weak sales in early 2012. In the first half, exports of extruders rose by nearly 20 percent, and there were increases for blow-molding machines (+16 percent) and molds (+28 percent).
“On the negative side, exports of injection machines have fallen off (-14 percent), primarily due to a slump in European sales, especially to Russia,” Assago-based Assocomaplast said.
Italian exports have increased to North and South America (with the exception of Brazil), Europe (especially countries outside the EU), Africa (especially countries in the sub-Saharan area) and Oceania.
“On the contrary, stagnation is witnessed in sales to Far Eastern markets as a result of lower Chinese and Indian demand, while exports to the Near and Middle East are falling, probably due to the unstable social and political situation there, compounded by export restrictions to countries such as Iran and Syria,” the group said.
The leading destinations for Italian exports in first-half 2012 were: Germany (14.7 percent of the total), France (6.3 percent), Russia (5.5 percent), United States (5.5 percent) and China (5.1 percent).