The Italian rubber & plastics machinery sector is seeing growth with exports up 14.6 percent in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period the year before.
According to figures released by Italian trade association Amaplast Sept. 25, the balance of trade between machinery imports and exports is positive by over 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion), a 17 percent increase compared to the first six months of the year in 2016. The trade group Assocomaplast changed its name to Amaplast earlier this month.
While imports slowed down slightly, sales abroad showed a “robust” double-digit growth in the first half.
In terms of product performance, extrusion lines, flexographic printers and thermoforming machinery did particularly well with double-digit growth in exports year-over-year. Mono- ad multi-filament, blow molding machines and machines for foamed materials had negative performance.
Europe remained the principle destination market for Italian machinery with an upsurge in Russian demand, which saw sales more than double from approximately 21 million euros ($24.7 million) to nearly 50 million euros ($58.9 million) in the first half of the year. The Americas absorbed a fifth of Italian exports, with Latin America and Brazil in the lead. At the same time, Asia remained stagnant, dragged down by a 12 percent decline recorded in China.
“The recovery in supplies to important historical markets such as Russian and Brazil, which were sputtering in the recent past due to their respective [economic issues]… gives a quite significant boost in confidence for companies in our sector,” said Amaplast President Alessandro Grassi.
The six month data, said Grassi, “are an important signal for Italian manufacturers of plastics and rubber processing machinery, equipment, and molds, who… can look forward to a new record in production and exports at year end.”