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Textile machinery sector faces competition through innovation
27
Jun '08
The sixth edition of ACIMIT Osservatorio, the survey on the economical and financial trend of Italian manufacturers of textile machinery, was presented at the general assembly of ACIMIT, the Italian Association of Textile Machinery Manufacturers on June 24 in Milan.

The world outlook of the global textile machinery industry, outlined in the study, illustrates a rather poor pace in terms of trade. Textile machinery manufacturers from the Far East are the group which have managed to increase their market share most considerably in recent years, particularly those based in China.

In fact, in addition to representing by far the main market for the industry, China is also the world's fifth exporter of textile machinery, right behind Germany, Japan, Italy and Switzerland. Albeit in the lower bracket of the product range, Asian machinery manufacturers have proven highly competitive, especially in Asian markets, where the demand for technologically advanced machinery is still limited.

In this global context, Italy remains among the leaders in the sector, both in terms of production and exports, with an 11% market share. 2007 confirmed the recovery trend, already evident through 2006, in production for Italian textile machinery manufacturers. Production figures in Italy for 2007 neared 2.8 billion Euros, a 3% increase over the previous year. Similar growth figures were recorded for exports, which came in at 2.15 billion Euros, roughly 2% higher than in 2006.

This positive result for 2007 derives above all from a rising demand for textile maintenance machinery (above all dry-cleaning machinery), up 42% over 2006 and an astounding 66% in terms of exports. The textile machinery sector proper, on the other hand, suffered a decrease in both production (-1%) and exports (-4%).

Italy's domestic market represents a positive note, with deliveries by Italian machinery manufacturers rising 8% on a yearly basis. The recovery in investments on the part of the national textile industry is also confirmed by the trend in imports, which exceeded 630 million Euros in 2007, for a 10% increase with respect to 2006.

ACIMIT President Paolo Banfi expressed the concerns of the entire sector, “The economic situation presents some serious issues, such as rising costs for primary materials and a slowdown of the world's major economies. And the strong Euro is a further obstacle for our sector, where exports represent 80% of national production.”

Marco Fortis, Vice President of the Edison Foundation, participating at the conference & commenting on these findings, emphasized the need for companies in the sector to keep driving and promoting the technology levels of their products.

Prof.Fortis underscored the central role played by the machinery manufacturing industry in Italy's economic context and its importance for the nation's trade balance.

Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers

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