Milan, Italy – Sales figures for Italian rubber & plastics processing machinery for the first three quarters of 2019 suggest a negative year-result, according to trade association Amaplast.
Citing foreign trade data released by the Italian National Statistical Institute (ISTAT), the trade body said imports of plastics & rubber machinery plunged 13.1% year-on-year to €645 million during the nine months to end of September.
Exports fell 8.5% to just below €2.16 billion, the trade association added in its 8 Jan statement.
While the balance of trade remains positive, posting a surplus of over €1.5 billion, that figure dropped by six percentage points, Amaplast added.
The trade association cited the current world economic climate as well as “the announced but as yet poorly defined” legislative and fiscal measures aimed at reducing the use of plastics as the reasons for the slowdown.
For the full year, Amaplast expects the Italian market for plastics & rubber machinery, equipment and moulds to remain depressed “across the board”.
In total, the trade body expects declines in production by 9%, exports by 8% and imports by 15%.
Breaking down the 9-month results, Amaplast noted a 20% decline in exports to Germany.
Nonetheless, the country held on to its position as the top destination for Italian machinery, with imports of over €270 million.
The US also maintained its second position, with a 15% rise in imports valued at €223 million.
Spain moved up three spots to take over the third position with €112 million of machinery imports, followed by China and Poland.
With a 30% decline, Turkey lost its spot among the top 10 importers of Italian machinery, having been replaced by India.
“[The decline] for Turkey is not particularly surprising, given the country’s uncertain economic situation and the poor performance of the local converting industry,” said Amaplast.
In addition, the devaluation of the Turkish lira since August 2018 contributed to the fall.