Assago,Italy -- According to estimates by Assocomaplast, based on preliminary foreign trade data in 2009 and a survey of member companies trade in 2009, comparison with 2008 shows "a remarkable slackening" for the polymer machinery industry.
Assocomaplast is the Italian trade association, Confindustria member, representing 160 manufacturers of plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and moulds.
The sharp decrease of production reflects both the downturn of export and the deep crisis of the domestic market.
Italian market of machinery, equipment and moulds for plastics and rubber (million euro)
2007 2008 2009
production 4250 4200 3200
export 2753 2451 1800
import 634 589 450
domestic market 2132 2338 1850
trade balance 2118 1862 1350
The slump in exports includes almost all destinations and the top ten countries that represent over 55 percent out of the total. In this latter classification are just two exceptions: Turkey, where Italian exports constantly grown in the last decade, as a result of the significant development of the local processing industry, and the 2009/2008 drop was not so severe (-7.8 percent). The other is Benelux at -0.9 percent.
Assocomplast says its latest survey of members shows moderate optimism. The majority (81 percent) of respondents expect an increase in turnover in the first semester of 2010, in comparison with the second half of 2009, thanks to improved orders in January, with respect to November-December 2009.
Better prospects exist for particular EU countries, South America and Asia except China, where the recovery of sales is somehow weaker. To this purpose, operators look forward to the next Chinaplas in Shanghai 19-22 April 2010, with an Italian pavilion of 1.200 sq.m, housing 50 exhibitors. They hope the show will be an opportunity to see confirmed the rebound of export towards that country.