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Textile machinery sales plunge in 2008
Mar '09
Preliminary year-end 2008 figures for Italy's textile machinery industry register a 18% drop in production compared to the previous year, with a total production value estimated at 2,285 billion Euros. This decline affects both Italy's domestic market and export sales.

Exports fell from 2,151 billion Euros in 2007 to 1,782 billion Euros for 2008. Manufacturing companies in the world's primary markets, which include China, India and Turkey, are currently not investing. There are very few countries in which Italian exports recorded an increase in sales for 2008 (i.e. Brazil and Russia). Italy's domestic market also witnessed a 20% fall in demand for new machinery on an annual basis.

Total orders, compiled semi-annually by ACIMIT (Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers), effectively confirm the current difficulties facing Italian companies. During 2008 second half, the order index (2000 = 100 basis) reached only 28.4 points, a 52% drop compared to the same six-month period in 2007, and the already serious situation faced by machinery producers in Italy during the course of 2008 has been further exacerbated in this initial part of 2009. In fact, no reversal of this trend is foreseen for the first half of 2009.

The primary element worrying the industry regards access to credit. “A recent study conducted by ACIMIT, explains ACIMIT President, Paolo Banfi, shows that the most critical issues facing its members relate to the current credit crunch, with an increase in the spread requested by banks on credit to businesses, and a demand for greater guarantees in providing credit lines.”

Awaiting new developments, ACIMIT continues to support machinery manufacturers with a promotional plan, implemented in partnership with the Ministry for Economic Development and the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade, comprising around 25 different initiatives for 2009 (technology symposiums, participation at trade fair events, training courses in Italy and abroad). These activities involve about ten countries/markets overall, singled out among potentially most promising ones.

“The main objective of our requests, states Banfi, is to get through the current crisis with the entire industry – suppliers, machinery producers, customers – becoming more competitive, and without losing our capital of know-how, both in terms of technology and human resources, which has thus far contributed so significantly to the success of the textile machinery sector and of our “Made in Italy” throughout the world.”

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