The first half 2013 was not easy for the woodworking technology and wood-based materials industry. According to the data processed by the Studies Office of Acimall– the Confindustria member association representing industry companies – the January-June period was tough for export from the Old Continent. Also for Germany, that is still at the top of the ranking (see table below), but recorded a significant decrease in sales abroad (minus 14.81 percent compared to the same period in 2012), confirming the negative trend in the first quarter of this year. It went slightly better for Italy, which still remains in negative territory, while recovering some percent points from the reduction recorded in the first three months of 2013.

Asian export (from China and Taiwan) repeated the result of the first semester 2012, getting even closer to their major European competitors, while export from the United States (plus 8.36 percent) and Austria (plus 1.54 percent) are basically addressed to neighbor markets.


2013 January-June period, in million Euros.


Total value

2013/2012 variation



















United States



Source: Acimall Studies Office, November 2013.


What are the results of major exporting countries in their most important destination markets? We offer some considerations about competition in the world’s major import markets for woodworking machinery. The United States once again reaffirmed their role of biggest market worldwide, with a positive trend benefiting all their suppliers, Italy included. As usual, there is a massive flow of equipment manufactured in Asia, while European competitors are still led by Germany in the leading position.

In Russia, Germany is the top exporter, with a solid leadership supported by the supply of big plants for panel production. Also Italy is performing well in this country, though slightly dropping from 2012. Only marginal shares for the other actors of global export.

Competition is particularly tough in China, where all major manufacturing countries are active. Germany is the top exporter with over 60 million Euros in the first half 2013, followed by Taiwan (40 million) and Italy (just below 30 million Euros).

Germany and Italy take the biggest share of woodworking technology export to Brazil, mainly as a result of effective partnership agreements with local resellers and, in some cases, huge direct investments.

In Europe, Germany and France are the most important destination markets; it is worth highlighting the penetration of made-in-China technology in Germany, a strongly growing trend.



The global trade analysis by the Acimall studies office also allows to make a ranking of “virtuous countries”, i.e. the markets that, in the second half 2013, have invested more resources in woodworking technology (taking into account supplies from Germany, Italy, China, Austria and the United States; Taiwan figures are not available), as evidence of a manufacturing situation that - with all required caution - is positive.

Again, the United States are in the top positions, with import growth rates close to 15 percent compared to the April-June 2012 period. Interesting trends also in Canada (plus 22 percent) and the United Kingdom (plus 7.2 percent), whereby the latter has been consolidating its structural recovery in the past few months. Growth in North America is also supported by Mexico (plus 27 percent).

Running up far behind, with much lower absolute values, Lithuania with 8.6 million Euros in the second half 2013, up by 134.45 percent compared to April-June 2012), Serbia (5.3 million, plus 48.9 percent) and Paraguay (one million Euros, plus 41 percent).

Destination markets with a negative sign, meaning a reduction of technology acquisition from the leading producing countries, include Brazil (26 million Euros in the second half 2013, minus 68 percent over the same period of 2012) and India (15.4 million, minus 31 percent), countries that – we should not forget – have been very positive in recent times.

In Europe, France (56 million Euros in April-June 2013, minus 8.7 percent compared to the second half 2012), Belgium (27.5 million, minus 22 percent) and Switzerland (26.9 million, minus 7.3 percent), all “mature” markets.

Thailand and Australia are suffering from drops close to 30 percent, combined with discouraging results of countries like the Czech Republic, Hungary and Greece.

Source: Acimall


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