Extrusion International USA 3-2021

12 Extrusion International 3/2021 INDUSTRY NEWS „ After the record peak in 2017, substantially continuing into 2018, then followed by a cyclical set back in 2019, last year rev- enues for Italian plastics and rubber equipment manufacturers recorded a drop of 11.4% to a total value of 3.9 billion euros. According to data from the MECS-AMAPLAST (national trade association and member of Con fi ndustria) Statistical Studies Centre, which were analysed accounting for ISTAT data, the re- sultwas causedby a contraction in thedomesticmarket (-12.5%) to 1.96 billion euro sand by a drop in sales on foreign markets (-11.2%) to 2.72 billion euros. A fi nal factor was a 14.3% reduc- tion in imports to 780 million euros. An examination of the geography of exports in 2020 reveals a rise in sales in Europe, which represents 58.3%ofthe total (with good performance particularly in extra-EU markets), while Asia (falling to 16.7% from 17.5% in 2019) and North America (to 14.6% from 15.2%) lost some ground. Many of the top 10 ex- port countries recorded double-digit drops, signi fi cant excep- tions being +42% to Russia and +14% to Turkey. Analysing exports by goods category, the industry has recorded signi fi cant and widespread slumps in sales of almost all tech- nologies, the only exceptions being plants for mono- and multi- fi lament and thermoforming machines, used to produce trays, cups, and other food packaging, which have witnessed rising demand as a result of new consumption patterns induced by the pandemic. The expectations for a positive inversion of trend in 2020 af- ter the downturn in 2019 were dashed by the Covid-19 emer- gency, which required the implementation of extraordinary containment measures – involving shutdowns of numerous production segments that were considered non-essential, in- cluding the plastics and rubber processing machinery indus- try, as well as travel re-strictions – which effectively blocked operations for a number of weeks. In parallel, the progressive spread of the epidemic in various countries generated a high level of spread of the epidemic in various countries generated Italian Plastics and Rubber ProcessingMachinery Manufacturers – After the Drop in Revenues in 2020 Orders Again Growing AMAPLAST www.amaplast.org a high level of uncertainty as regards the international macro- economic outlook. The main impact on the system was especially strong between the fi rst and secondquarter, followedby a recovery that acceler- ated in the last quarter, mitigating the overall negative result. It also bears emphasizing that AMAPLAST members fared rela- tively well with respect to the overall sector. A comparison with 2019 reveals a drop in their revenues of 2.8%, which is quite mi- nor considering the global context. As regards employment, on the other hand, we may actually speak of gains, with an impres- sive increase of 3.3%. Overall, the year 2021 began in an encouraging manner: a re- bound in production and exports is foreseen, although it might be overly optimistic to expect a return to precrisis levels with in the space of a fewmonths. Thiswill bemuchmore likely tooccur in 2022. Con fi rmationof the Transition 4.0 Plan, i.e. governmental incen- tives to replace machinery and equipment, will pump needed fuel into the domestic market, the one hardest hit in the past months. Signi fi cant recoveries in progress in certain key mar- kets, such as China and the United States, will boost exports for the sector. However, overall forecasts remain cautious because there is still strong uncertainty in many markets, in fl uenced by the pro- longed pandemic, the slow pace of vaccination campaigns, and the dif fi cult process of resuming travel, especially internation- ally. Not to mention that price increases have accelerated in the recent period for polymers, other raw materials, components, andmaritime shipping costs. In any case, af fi rming a counter trend with respect to 2020, half of themember companies that took part in a recent AMAPLAST survey reported growth in orders in the fi rst half of 2021 with respect to the second half of 2020, albeit to varying degrees. „ Following the recent communicationon the shows’ postpone- ment, Mack-Brooks Exhibitions announced the new dates for ICE Europe, CCE International and InPrintMunich. The collective of converting, paper and print exhibitions was scheduled for 22 to 24 June 2021 and will now take place from 15 to 17 March 2022 at theMunich Trade Fair Centre in Germany. “Following our decision to postpone ICE Europe, CCE Inter- national and InPrint Munich, we are pleased to be able to of- fer our usual event slot in March. This hopefully ensures that the live events can continue their critical role in bringing the global converting, paper and print industry together again. In themeantime, wewill offer opportunities to exchange knowl- edge, network and conduct business in a safe online format with further details on digital offerings to be released in due course”, explained Patrick Herman, Event Director of the Con- verting, Paper and Print Events at Mack-Brooks Exhibitions. ICE Europe, the International Exhibition for Paper, Film & Foil Converting, is the world’s leading exhibition for the conver- sion of fl exible, web-based materials, such as paper, fi lm, foil and nonwovens. New Date for ICE Europe Mack-Brooks Exhibitions Ltd www.ice-x.com/europe