MOSCOW (MRC) -- Assocomaplast, the Italian trade association, which unites over 160 manufacturers of machinery, moulds and equipment for plastics and rubber, has completed the balance sheet of the sector for the year 2014, including ISTAT foreign trade data, reported GV.
According to the association, progress in exports maintained a constant rate until the end of 2014, sustaining therefore the Italian machinery manufacturers in a period where the domestic market showed only faint signs of recovery in the very recent months. Although there was a noticeable increase in purchases from abroad (up to 8 % over the entire year) the tendency for investments by manufacturers was described by the Assocomaplast as rather limited in the final quarter of 2014.
The trade association estimated the production of the Italian plastics market to reach a maximum of EUR 4 billion based on surveys of its members. The trade balance further increased and passed the EUR 2 billion threshold, followed by the domestic market just remaining below that level.
The most recent survey by the association described a generally optimistic outlook among nearly one third of the interviewed companies, who expect a further growth in orders and turnover for the present half-year. Another third expects an increase of export shares.
Within the other EU states a clear increase of Italian machinery sales is noted, while the total trade with non-EU countries has dropped. This is likely due to the negative performance in Russia (-11.9 %), which again is partially the result of the sanctions applied in response to the Ukraine crisis and the collapse of the rouble.
The lacklustre sales trend to Brazil (-11 % with respect to 2013) affected the overall performance in South America, while an upswing in supplies to Chinese converters (also to Vietnamese, Indonesian and Indian, just to mention the most significant) compensated a slow-down to South Korea, Japan and Thailand.
Among the destination markets the USA (+21.5 %) took second place from France (-10.4 %, now in third place), while Germany, in keeping with established tradition, remained in first place by a wide margin (albeit somewhat decreased).
We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, in 2013, the Ministry of Economic Development of Italy closed the remained plant of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the country, thus, giving the green light to sales of "Vinyls Italia's facilities, the only Italian PVC producer.