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NEWS


Italian machinery imports rise while exports remain static


Italian imports of plastics and rubber processing machinery grew by 23% in H1 2018 compared to the same period last year while exports edged only fraction- ally up. This meant the trade balance fell by 7% and is attributed to “the lacklustre performance heralded in the early months of the year”, according to the country’s plastics and rubber machinery trade association Amaplast. The plastics machinery industry was still over €1bn in the black in total, but €14m in the red for injection


moulding machinery. “The dynamism of purchases from abroad may be interpreted as renewed faith in the domestic market, mainly due to investment incentives that are likely to be renewed and naturally hoped for by businesses in the industry,” Amaplast said in its analysis. Strongest growing import sectors included injection moulding machines (+31%), blow moulding machines (+75%), flexographic printers (+111%) and moulds (+12%). This was driven mainly by strong


demand from the packaging sector, which grew by 14% last year and has continued on a strong growth path in 2018.


Amaplast said Germany


remains the largest exporter of plastics machinery to Italy and widened its lead over China in H1. Europe remains the largest export market for Italy’s plastics machinery firms, accounting for 61% of the total, although export sales were static year-on-year. The NAFTA countries


were in second place and saw a 7% increase in sales. Russia, which had a very


strong 2017, saw a major decline, showing that “enthusiasm has definitely waned”, said Amaplast. Sales to Asia, Oceania and the rest of Latin America were down. According to Amaplast


president Alessandro Grassi, its members’ July order books were stable to slightly up on both June 2018 and July 2017. “This gives us reason to hope for a rebound in production and exports in the last quarter of the year,” he said. � www.amaplast.it


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