The situation is still critical for machinery and technology for wood and wood-based material processing: after four positive quarters, the expansion of global markets has stopped. It’s a “natural” trend, we might say, as orders from abroad – in absolute terms – still represent the most significant business for an industry with a 70 percent export share on its production. On the contrary, the situation in Italy is still very complicated, with “structural” stagnation that is jeopardizing the companies with predominantly domestic business.

But let’s take a look at figures: according to the periodical survey by Acimall Studies Office, between April and June 2012, orders went down by 9.9 percent compared to the same period of 2011. Foreign orders decreased by 12.3 percent, while shrinkage on the domestic market amounted to 4.3 percent. These figures fit into a general picture where, we repeat, Italian woodworking technology has been expanding strong across the global markets, with a substantial trend also last year, while reduction has been lighter in the quarter under scrutiny in Italy; however, the domestic market had been "standing still" for a long time.

Compared to the index figure in January 2002, equal to 100, current order levels are at 79.

The period of ensured production is approximately two months, while since the beginning of 2012, prices have been growing by an estimated 1 percent. Employment is considered stationary by 81 percent of the sample and falling by the remaining 19 percent.

Short-term forecasts. There is a manifest lack of confidence for the final part of the year: one third of the sample expects order shrinkage, both on foreign markets and at home. Only 15 percent of interviewed companies predict an expansion of foreign orders, while the volume will remain stable according to 56 percent, and decrease further for 29 percent (the balance is minus 14). The domestic market is also going to shrink according to 37 percent of the sample, while 63 percent expect stability. No one talks of possible growth (the balance is negative at minus 37).

Source: Acimall

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