ROME: The Made in Italy stamp continues to be a mark of quality in the plastics processing world, as the country’s plastics machinery manufacturers experienced positive demand in 2017.
The Amaplast Study Center reported that ISTAT foreign trade data for the January to September period of the year showed that imports rose by 12 per cent and exports were up by 16 per cent year-on-year.
This increase in trade now exceeds €1.7 billion (£1.5 billion) – a 17 percentage point climb. This double digit growth was demonstrated though each month in the three-quarters period and Amaplast forecasts that production at year end could reach a new all-time high of €4.5 million, exceeding 2007’s record €4.25 billion.
“The success of Italian manufacturers of plastics and rubber processing machinery – who have dominated the world market for decades along with their German colleagues, is the result of the technological innovation offered to their customers, providing original, optimal solutions for production, recovery, and recycling of plastic and rubber products within an ‘Industry 4.0’ regime,” said Alessandro Grassi, Amaplast President. Demand from overseas was positive for most machinery types and represents some 70 per cent of national production. Above average export figures were recorded for thermoforming machinery (+51 per cent) and extrusion machinery (+19 per cent). Very high growth in demand was recorded for the Russian market which experienced a 109 per cent jump in sales, while exports to the Americas rose by 12 per cent and the African market’s demand rose by 22 per cent. Demand in Asia and the Middle East did not experience much growth in 2017. Saudi Arabian sales were down by 34 per cent and exports to Iran were down by five per cent.