Assocomaplast has produced its 2013 full-year forecast for the industry on the basis of ISTAT foreign trade data for the first nine months of the year.
The slight dip in exports (-2.8% with respect to January-September 2012) could be recovered in the fourth quarter thanks to the expected economic recovery, early signals of which have been noted recently by the CONFINDUSTRIA Research Center, among others, after months of negative performance.
The more accentuated negative sign for imports (-5.4%) reflects the continuing sluggishness of the domestic market, which has only begun to show some slight sign of improvement in the past few weeks, nevertheless raising hopes for a reversal of trend.
Thus, with all due caution while awaiting final data for the year, Assocomaplast projects that production for the industry will achieve a value quite similar to that for 2012, just under 4 billion euros, going on to surpass that threshold in 2014.
Providing some support to the climate of prudent optimism - or attenuated pessimism, according to the most cautious - are the results of the recent survey conducted by Assocomaplast among its members, where half the sample sees recovery in their revenues in the second half of the year with respect to the first half; over 40% of respondents reported a positive trend in orders in November, compared both to October 2013 and to November 2012.
According to Assocomaplast President, Mr Giorgio Colombo, “the current year is suffering from the deep crisis in the domestic market and the slowdown - which was particularly accentuated in the second half of the year - in certain very important export markets, including China, Brazil and the United States”.
“If they are going to continue to compete in international markets – Mr Colombo continued - Italian companies are going to have to invest increasing sums in research & development to remain in the upper tiers of technology providers. Energy savings, weight reduction and reduction of the thickness of products to save on raw materials are only a few of the most noteworthy objectives on which companies must focus their efforts, even more than they have in the past. The future is uncertain and fraught with difficulty, but I am confident that our enterprises, as they have proven in the past, will continue to be able to compete on all international markets”.