The year 2013 might close better than expected in the past few months. Such feeling is supported by the third-quarter figures of the woodworking technology industry, processed by the Studies Office of Acimall, the association of Italian manufacturers.

Woodworking Technology: Slight Improvement in Third Quarter 2013The trend seems to be slightly more positive than the same period of 2012, with orders growing by 3 percent. This time, the strongest driver is the domestic market, scoring a significant increase by 14.4 percent, although this result fits into the trend of the past two years, a long period when domestic orders touched an all-time low. As to export, we can repeat what we said about the previous quarter: 0.3 percent more than in the July-September 2012 period is a signal of substantial “stability”, another positive step towards the consolidation of our strong export propensity.

The orders book spans 2.4 months, while from the beginning of the year prices have increased by 1.2 percent (0.9 percent in the previous quarter). Unfortunately, turnover decreased in the July-September period: minus 3.8 percent compared to the same period of 2012.

According to the quality survey, 25 percent of respondents indicated a positive production trend, 50 percent stable and 25 percent shrinking production volumes. Employment is stationary according to 75 percent of the sample, decreasing for 15 percent and on the rise according to 10 percent. It is worth noticing that, in the April-June 2013 period, no respondent had mentioned the possibility of new employment. Available stocks are stable for 55 per cent of the interviewees, while 25 percent indicate a decrease and 20 percent an increase.

Short-term trends are suggested by the results of the forecast survey: once again, moderate optimism characterizes remarks about export, combined with a less pessimistic vision of domestic market trends, although still very few expect an improvement in the short term. Let’s see figures: 30 percent of respondents expect increasing orders from abroad, 45 percent stability and 25 percent reduction (the final balance is plus 5, versus 8 in the previous quarter).

The domestic market will suffer from shrinkage according to 20 percent of the sample, while 75 percent expect stability and 5 percent expansion (the negative balance is minus 15, while in the previous quarter it was minus 27).

Source: Acimall