Milan, Italy -- According to Assocomaplast (a 170-member Italian trade association for makers of plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and moulds), ISTAT data for January-September 2010 confirm recovery in Italian foreign trade in the sector.
Exports recorded overall growth of 6.5% compared to the same period in 2009. For machinery only, excluding equipment and moulds, this figure rises to 12.5%.
Imports posted a 20% increase. As a consequence, the trade balance topped Euro 2000 million ($2619 million) -- a 2% gain and, "a much more positive result than the -30% in September of 2009/2008," Assocomplast notes in a 22 Dec statement.
Exports by geographical area show a 5.2% loss of share for the European market (-2.2% EU, -15.6% the rest of Europe), which is still the major destination of Italian exports (56% of the total).
An opposite trend is shown for the Americas, ranking second globally at over Euro 277 million (almost 20% of the total). This is a result of a recovering trend both towards the NAF-TA area (Euro 131 million, 23.3% better than the previous period) and towards South Ame-rica in particular (just over Euro 135 million, +64.7%).
Assocomplast said, "A positive mood is recorded in Asia too, above all in the Far East (+31%) and China, with the latter marking a strong rebound (+43%) and now ranking second among the main Italian export destination markets.
In the December survey of Assocomaplast members, more than 70% of respondents expect the full year 2010 to show increased revenues with respect to 2009, half of them looking forward to performance of better than +10%. With respect to October 2010, 40% of companies recorded order increases in November, with recovery signals from the Russian Federation, which returns among the top 5 destination markets.
"In light of this generally brighter picture," the Italian trade association said it forecasts a "production increase of around +8% for 2010." Along with the positive trend in exports, this is likely to lead to a comprehensive turnover of over Euro 3500 million.