The Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association (UCIMA) has tallied results of 2009, with sales largely offsetting decreases incurred during 2008.
Trends from previous years set the stage for 2009
Despite the economic crisis that, starting from the second semester did not spare the sector, 2008 proved to be a favorable year for the Italian packaging machinery industry, thanks to the positive results of both exports and domestic market sales. In fact, the turnover exceeded 3.7 billion Euros (+6.0% at current values compared to 2007) and the positive trend of the exports continued with a 4.0% increase.
Nevertheless, because of the greater increase in deliveries to the domestic market, export impact on the overall turnover decreased in 2008 reaching 88.5%. The increase in deliveries to the domestic market, which began in 2007, continued (+24.2%), while the internal demand has increased by only 15.9% due to the smaller increase in imports (+6.7%). Finally, the domestic market share of Italian manufacturers has increased and imports represent 44.2% of overall consumption.
2009 preliminary forecast
The first six months of 2009 were characterized by a general improvement net of seasonality effects. In fact, throughout the months, data regarding order collection have been close to pre-crisis values, although July and August figures dampened the enthusiasm. Moreover, the order collection value registered in September was not particularly positive, only partly benefiting from the seasonality factor. Surveys reveal that between January and September 2009, order collection had decreased by an average 22.4% compared to 2008, a year that had however registered good results during the first six months.
As for foreign trade, ISTAT figures regarding September show not only an export slowdown, going from -16.8% in August to -17.6% compared to September 2008, but also an import slowdown, which, with reference to the same periods, went from -22.3% to -24.1%. As for exports, the worst performances compared to 2008 were recorded in the main markets, i.e., North America, EU and non-UE European countries. Slightly better in Central and South America and in Asia. Slightly positive figures were recorded in residual areas, such as Africa and Oceania.
As for imports, significant increase was recorded with regard to North America and other areas. Also a slight increase was recorded by imports from Asia. Imports from EU, non-EU European countries and Central and South America, on the other hand, have decreased.
Closing 2009 forecast
According to the data referring to external trade, it appears reasonable to expect year-end exports to stem 2008 losses between -15% and -20%. Also this year, deliveries to the domestic market should perform better than imports, ending the year between -10% and -15% compared to last year. Based on this premise, we believe that the first 2009 closing forecast data should be revised, assuming as a year-end result a more cautious -15%, with an overall sector turnover of approximately 3.3 billion Euros.
SOURCE: Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association (UCIMA)