MILAN—Italian exports and imports of plastics and rubber machinery grew strongly in the first six months of 2015, with equipment for the tire industry registering the highest growth.
Exports of presses for tires and inner tubes increased by 152 percent to $39.3 million, while imports rose 161 percent to $540,000, according to Italian trade association Assocomaplast.
The tire machinery market far outperformed that of the overall polymer machinery sector, which registered increases of 16.9 percent, to $342 million, and 7.5 percent, to $1.6 billion, for imports and exports respectively.
Overall, Assocomaplast said its analysis, which is based on official Italian foreign trade data, showed a “markedly positive performance” for Italy's exports and imports of plastics and rubber machinery, equipment and moulds.
“This provides further reassurance of economic recovery for the domestic market, though it cannot yet be described as a glittering performance,” said Assocomaplast's report.
The January through June data is in line with an Assocomoplast survey in July, when 50 percent of interviewees indicated an increase in orders with respect to a year ago.
Likewise, 44 percent of survey respondents expected further expansion, while 45 percent foresaw consolidation of sales over the current six-month period.
“These indicators also show an improvement with respect to earlier surveys,” said Alessandro Grassi, president of Assocomaplast. “From the point of view of equipment types, the largest volumes of imported (equipment) were recorded for Germany, the country that confirms its role as principal supplier of technology for Italy.”
Germany was also the most important market for Italian polymer processing equipment, with purchasing reaching $227 million, 19 percent higher than in the first six months of 2014.