Machinery News: Italian machinery sales reach a high in 2022; driven by exports

Against the backdrop of higher exports, Amaplast (Italian association of manufacturers of plastics and rubber processing machinery and moulds) said the year 2022 closed with a higher turnover of EUR4.67 billion, its second highest to be recorded. Sales were 5% higher than 2021 and the forecast of EUR4.5 billion in December was somewhat cautious, it added.

The association said the sales high was “satisfying”, considering the “numerous difficulties confronting the industry over the course of the year – some of which are having continuing effects – between export restrictions to Russia, raw materials and component shortages, and skyrocketing energy costs”.

Higher exports in 2022

Decarbonisation of battery sector

With almost all of its machinery exported (70%), Amaplast said it reached a turnover of EUR3 billion from exports, despite the difficult geopolitical situation. Its exports increased to South America (+33% overall, with Brazil topping the sales but lower sales for Colombia, Chile, and Peru).

Decarbonisation of battery sector

Meanwhile, sales to Asia went up by 9%; sales to India stood out at 24%, while those to China declined by 7%. In the Middle East, sales were up by 11% overall, with the driving forces being Saudi Arabia (36%) and the Emirates (58%).

Sales to the US were down by 3% but those to Mexico rose by 35%. Closer to home in Europe, sales were up by 8%. Plus, after a “most excellent” 2021, Amaplast said the domestic market remained relatively stable, with a less pronounced increment of 0.8% and turnover of EUR2.54 billion.

Decarbonisation of battery sector

It also added that “contradictory signals are arriving from the Africa, contrary to what was observed for 2021”. Exports to North Africa fell by 24% on average while those to sub-Saharan markets have increased by a similar proportion.

Sales of machinery categories

As regards export of product categories, among machines for primary processing Amaplast says that there was robust growth in sales of extruders (23%) and mono-multifilament systems (58%), the latter a category that has shown a significant upward trend over the past three years, going from EUR74 million in 2020 to the historical peak of EUR140 million in 2022, after the previous decade with values ranging between EUR30 and EUR50 million.

On the other hand, sales of injection moulding machines were relatively flat, while blow-moulding systems and thermoforming machines have registered distinctly negative performances at -19% and -22%, respectively

Expectations remain high for 2023; troubles looming ahead

As regards the first quarter of 2023, the forecast based on a Amaplast member survey in early January highlighted the following:

Amaplast furthers that its predictions are also based on German machinery sales that recorded a 13% drop in orders (the domestic market is particularly weak) coupled with a +10% in sales (sales abroad showing the principal positive signs).

In this first glimpse of 2023, the gap between orders (-40%, with a collapse in domestic orders) and sales (+21% but here the best performance was observed at home) is only deepening, it adds.

PLAST show returns to Milan

Nevertheless, the Italian machinery industry is looking forward to the staging of the PLAST show this year, after a five-year hiatus. Organised by Promaplast, the usually triennially-held show for the plastics and rubber industry will take place 5-8 September at the Fiera Milano Rho fairgrounds, in Milan, Italy.


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