Roberto Ariotti (Assofond): "For the Italian foundries, we assume that production will decrease by 20-30% in 2020."
"The foundries generally paid the lockdown price much more than the industry average. Our sector had already slowed down in 2019, which has been significantly reinforced by the events of the past few months. However, there was no total blockade: around 15% of the companies in the industry continued to work safely even during the blockade, mainly because they were suppliers of major supply chains," said Roberto Ariotti, President of Assofond at the General Assembly of the Confindustria Association, Italian Foundries represented, exceptionally by video conference.
In an articulated comparison, sensitive questions were raised, such as those about the role of entrepreneurs and companies in the difficult months that have just passed: "We do not accept the dialectic between the balance between health and profit. The systems drove Ariotti continued to work because they were necessary and had always put the health and safety of workers first, they helped keep the national production system alive, and I think of the foundries that offer for medical or food companies : Your contribution in the most tense moments of the first phase was crucial."
The pandemic crisis has hit a system that is already in trouble: according to the Assofond study center's announcement at the meeting, foundries recorded a production decline of more than 20 percentage points in volume during the months of closure Italian industrial production as a whole. In addition, the sector already slowed in the first two months of the year, reducing the drag effect of an already complicated year 2019 with an overall decline of -8.5% compared to 2018.
The performance of iron foundries (-12.3%) was particularly negative last year, while the decline in non-ferrous foundries (-4.9%) was less. In contrast, the steel founders recorded an increase of 5.2%.
However, it is the entire European foundry industry that has been in a complex phase since last year. The three largest manufacturers, Germany, Italy and France, all recorded a sharp decline in production in 2019: -8.9% Germany, -8.5% Italy, -5.1% France.
"For the current year - Ariotti explained - the annual forecasts tell us that the decline in production should be between 20 and 30%: a figure that corresponds to what is expected in Germany and better than expected for France, Spain and Great Britain. Now is the time to start again, "said Ariotti. Therefore we have the title "Trust us!" given. After so much suffering and even fear and with the same sense of duty that has inspired us in the past few months, we have to react. The numbers are not good and the picture for the coming months is bleak, so it is imperative to get to work. "
A recovery that also applies to the challenges that European industry as a whole must face to reaffirm its competitiveness in the world: "Foundries are crucial companies for most supply chains, and the Italian ones are also a model of sustainability at all levels: ecological, social and economic, which is why we share the principles of the Green New Deal, which was launched by the EU Commission last year, knowing that the goals set must be achieved together with industry and its contribution but not by tying them up with limits and rules that would expose them to unfair competition from foreign competitors, which needs to be worked on, the aim being to create a system of equal competition with non-EU manufacturers.