Assocomaplast, the Italian association for plastic and rubber processing machinery, has released data for 2013 which it said indicated the Italian machinery market was remaining stable.
The organization, which represents 162 local plastics and rubber machinery, ancillary equipment and molds manufacturers, reported that an export recovery at the end of 2013 meant that Italian manufacturers were able to compensate for weaknesses in the domestic market.
The organization attributed the stability in the industry to strong growth in injection molding machines, where sales grew by 32 percent to over 126 million euros ($173.5 million), although it noted that sales fell for extruders and blow molding equipment.
Production revenue in the industry dropped by 2.5 percent between 2012 and 2013, falling from 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) to 3.9 billion euros ($5.3 billion). Assocomaplast put this decrease down to a slight fall in demand from abroad, which represents 65 percent of total production.
However Assocomaplast reported its member companies performed better than average in the industry in terms of revenues and exports, seeing a 1.3 percent rise versus others in the sector.
In a preliminary report released last year Giorgio Colombo, president of Assocomaplast, said that both the domestic and export markets proved difficult in 2013.
“The current year  is suffering from the deep crisis in the domestic market and the slowdown — which was particularly accentuated in the second half of the year — in certain very important export markets, including China, Brazil and the US,” he said.
The organization said the top five export markets for Italian machinery remained unchanged from 2012: Germany, France, US, Poland and China, with exports to Poland growing by 5 percent in 2013 while the remaining export markets saw drops ranging from 3 percent to Germany and 17 percent to France.