Italian plastics & rubber machinery exports have declined 0.6% year-on-year in the first nine months of the year 2018, according to Amaplast, the Italian trade association for rubber & plastics machinery.
The export figures are in stark contrast to the 11.4% growth in imports seen during this same period, in response to the Italian government's investment incentives put in place to deliver a boost to the local market.
The strong growth in imports, however, is significantly lower compared to the +26% achieved in the first quarter and the +23% in the second quarter, Amaplast said 19 Dec.
Machinery exports remained weak, with sales volumes dipping into negative territory toward the end of the nine-month period while exhibiting only minor recoveries along the way.
Regarding performance by machinery type, Amaplast said the trend was “still quite positive” for injection moulding machines, extrusion lines, and blow moulding machines. However, demand has tapered for auxiliary equipment and moulds.
In terms of export regions, the figures show a “major shift” in Asia with the Far East – led by Indian and South Korea – registering growth of 9.7%. In the Middle East, sales fell by 37.1%, with demand cooling particularly in Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, and Israel.