Assago, Italy - We still have to wait for coveted recovery: as a matter of fact, 2013 has been poor of satisfaction. The preliminary balance about the trend of Italian technology for wood and wood-based materials, processed by Acimall's Studies Office, is quite clear. The analysis by the Confindustria member association, unfortunately, highlights the signs of a tough economic season for an industry that, in the past six years, has suffered from 30 percent turnover reduction.
Production, amounting to 1,481 million Euros, recorded a drop from the previous year, mainly caused by a domestic market that – though far from the minus 15 percent result in 2012 – is not showing signs of a rally or reasons for satisfaction. Italian export lost another 8.1 percent compared to 2012 (while 2012 vs. 2011 recorded 8 percent shrinkage), as a result of decreasing interest for Italian products in neighbor markets, first of all Germany, France, Spain and Portugal. In general terms, Europe has always been a key partner for Italian suppliers, but its relevance has strongly faded in recent years. This trend was not compensated by the “satisfactory” results recorded in emerging markets: China, Brazil, Canada, United States and Mexico have emerged as good destinations for Italian technology.
Import increased by 10.5 percent (up by 144 million Euros in value), mainly resulting from sales by German and Chinese competitors in Italy. The former have a 50 share on total import, mostly concentrated in the high-end of the market, while “made in China” supplies (accounting for 25 percent of Italian import approximately) include low-tech solutions or components and solutions in-transit to other destinations.
“As usual, it is very difficult to predict what is going to happen in the next twelve months”, said Dario Corbetta, newly-appointed Acimall director, who guided the Studies Office for many years. “Several factors can have an impact on the trends of an industry, even a small one like ours. We expect a slight rally of all indexes, though we cannot say there will be real recovery.
Again, export flows will play a key role for an industry where export propensity is now beyond 80 percent. If Italian companies have the capacity to approach some markets aggressively with innovative globalization initiatives, looking for technical and commercial cooperation agreements, then we will see business expansion.
However, it will take more time to see a real "growth" of the domestic market. We are still struggling with a demand crisis that can only be solved with strong actions at macro-economic level”.
“Another key element – added the manager – is the upcoming Xylexpo, the biennial international exhibition organized by our association in even-numbered years, that will be a valuable observatory to identify the most active markets and future decisions by big international customers”.
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