Italian machine tool industry forecasts record exports

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Exports of Italian machine tools will rise 12.3% to a record of almost €3.7 billion this year and production will increase 4.9% to nearly €5 billion, the country’s machine tools association UCIMU said.

Italian Deliveries to the domestic market are seen falling 11.1% to €1.3 billion, according to the association, which said Italian consumption in the sector will slip 4.2% to €2.5 billion.

Outgoing chairman Giancarlo Losma said exports have been driving the production growth. “However, what worries the Italian manufacturers most is the reduction of sales in the domestic market. Small businesses in the sector, those sized to operate only in the local area, are at risk of collapsing.”

Losma was succeeded by Luigi Galdabini, CEO of Galdabina SPA, which makes machine tools for metal processing and for mechanical tests based in Cardano al Campo (Varese). Galdabini, who has been an UCIMU vice-chairman since 2005, will lead the association for the next two years.

China remained the largest importer of Italian machine tools in the first quarter, the association said. Exports to the Peoples’ Republic jumped 30.2% versus the first three months of last year. Exports to the US nearly doubled, and those to Russia rocketed 92%. Exports to Germany fell 13.3%.

UCIMU also released final data for the industry’s performance last year. Production grew 13.5% to €4.8 billion based on “the strong performance of exports”, which increased 25.2% to €3.3 billion. Domestic deliveries dropped 5.7% to €1.5 billion. Domestic consumption in the sector rose 3.4% to €2.6 billion.

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