Milan, Italy – There has been a marked decline in overseas demand for Italian-made plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and moulds, national industry association Assocomaplast has reported.
Citing official (ISTAT) figures for the first half of 2016, the association reported the “bottom of the trough” for foreign sales being reached in June at -2.3 percent. This followed declines ranging from -0.5 percent to -1.0 percent in the previous months.
The declines were despite gains in sales to the NAFTA countries, especially to Mexico, the Far East – China, India, South Korea and Vietnam – and the Middle East led by Iran.
Assocomaplast did not specify where overseas had fallen back, but pointed to a flatness in the German demand, linked partly to the K2016 trade fair in Düsseldorf, 19-26 Oct.
“For years various Italian and German manufacturers have been recording a slowdown in orders in the months leading up to K,” it explained. “Interested buyers probably prefer to get an idea of the new technologies exhibited at the fair before planning and committing to their investments.”
An Assocomaplast survey, meanwhile, Italian polymer processors reported a "trend toward stability in orders, especially from foreign markets, a situation that is expected to continue to the end of the current year."
Imports of plastics & rubber machinery, equipment and moulds into Italy increased strongly in the first half of 2016, compared to those for the same period in 2015.
ISTAT data put imports at nearly €390 million, “with a new peak (+9.7%),” Assocomaplast stated.
“This would seem to reaffirm the signs of recovery in the domestic market that had shown up on the radar last year,” the Italian machinery association commented.