Milan, Italy – Italian plastics and rubber processing machinery manufacturers have recorded double-digit year-on-year increases in orders and turnover in the first quarter of 2021, trade association Amaplast has reported.
The recent findings are based on a survey of member companies by the MECS-Amaplast Statistical Studies Centre, which showed sales registering an average growth of 12 percentage points.
The improvement was linked to a “good performance in the domestic market (+16%), led by sales in replacement parts. Sales abroad have also increased by nearly 10%."
According to Amaplast, it was particularly significant to see the rebound in orders being driven by increased domestic demand.
New machinery and systems, it said, recorded an impressive 64% increase, which the association attributed largely to an investment incentive initiative in Italy.
Orders from abroad racked up a more modest but satisfactory 8%, noted Amaplast, commenting that “companies have a six-month horizon on their orders.”
There is considerable optimism among machinery makers for the second quarter, especially as regards international markets, where demand is forecast to rise by 18%.
“Sales may even hit 52%, a peak that might also be seen in the domestic market, although orders are expected to fall to a respectable 4%,” commented Amaplast.
The survey found that the four main segments for plastics and rubber processing machinery manufacturers – packaging, automotive, construction, and medical – have “a stable outlook with an upward trend.”
“The entire automotive sector has suffered greatly but has finally shown some indications of recovery in the last period,” said Amaplast, adding that the construction industry would benefit from strong tax incentives currently in place.
“The first quarter of the current year confirms the early forecasts by the association, which called for a marked reversal of trend from the difficult period for companies because of the pandemic in 2020,” stated Amaplast director Mario Maggiani.
However, he noted continuing uncertainties around political and commercial tensions, raw material & supply-chain costs as well as spikes in Covid infections.
“It is unlikely that we will see a return to pre-crisis levels this year” concluded Maggiani. “But the momentum we have built up in the first part of the year has allowed many companies to look to the future with greater optimism.”
“[The industry is] hoping especially for a rapid and safe resumption of international transfers, given that over 70% of production in the sector continues to go into exports.”