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Spotlight | December 2018

Italian textile machinery: Orders remain stable

Asia, and China in particular, represent the primary foreign markets for Italian machinery manufacturers in the sector.

After having fielded 130 Italian textile machinery manufacturers at ITMA Asia+CITME 2018 recently, ACIMIT has revealed that its order position on the third quarter of the year is remaining stable. This is a good achievement considering that the global markets have been a bit unsteady with the ongoing tussle between the US and China, besides the shake-ups in some economies following crude price rise.

The orders index for textile machinery compiled by ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers, for the period ranging from July to September 2018, has proven stable compared to the same period for 2017. Indeed, the value of the index stood at 108.3 basis points (2015 basis =100).However, orders gathered by Italian machinery manufacturers show contrasting trends. In Italy, the index stood at an absolute value of 121.9 basis points, i.e., a 30 per cent increase compared to the period from July to September 2017. On the other hand, in terms of foreign markets, the index actually fell by 2 per cent, with an absolute value of 107.4 basis points.

This data prompted ACIMIT President Alessandro Zucchi to comment, “In many primary foreign markets, our manufacturers have experienced a slowdown for the first nine months of the year. In China, above all, our main export destination, trade tensions with the United States have in fact halted investment plans for many textile manufacturers. Despite the uncertainty that characterises many markets, I believe that for our industry 2018 will close at levels in line with those of the previous year.”

ACIMIT represents an industrial sector that comprises around 300 companies (employing roughly 12,000 people), manufacturing machinery for an overall value of about 2.9 billion euros, of which fully 84 per cent is exported. Creativity, sustainable technology, reliability and quality are the primary characteristics that have made Italian textile machinery industry leaders worldwide.46% exports destined for Asia

Italian technology played a major role, featuring innovative and sustainable solutions at the ITMA ASIA+CITME 2018, the primary Asian trade show dedicated to textile machinery, where around 130 Italian companies exhibited. Of these, 63 manufacturers presented their technology offerings within National Sector Groups organised by ACIMIT. The total exhibition surface area occupied by Italian businesses amounted to roughly 6,300 sq m, placing Italy among the main exhibiting nations at the event.

Asia and China in particular, represent the primary foreign markets for Italian machinery manufacturers in the sector. Over the first half of 2018, fully 46 per cent of Italian exports of textile machinery was destined for Asia, compared to 37 per cent for European Countries, and 12 per cent to the Americas. The Chinese market is the main destination for Italian exports, with a 16 per cent share of the total. Over the first six months of the current year, the value of exports amounted to 156 million euros (-8 per cent compared to the first half of 2017). Other major export destinations for Italian machinery manufacturers in Asia include India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

“Prospects for the Chinese market remain positive, in spite of the fact that the demand for foreign machinery from local textile manufacturers for this first half of the year has been rather slow,” confirmed Zucchi. “The trust our machinery manufacturers have placed in China is abundantly apparent in the large number of Italian exhibitors present in Shanghai. Italy is among the most highly ranked foreign Countries in terms of the number of exhibiting companies.”

The demand for machinery in China is focused primarily on technologies capable of combining savings in production costs with environmental sustainability. China’s textile industry is just as sensitive to innovative solutions that can respond to the market’s changing demands; i.e., fast time-to-market and just-in-time production. “I believe that in order to enhance competitiveness at an international level textile manufacturers in China, just as in other Countries, must target the digitalisation of production processes, aiming for sustainability in the technological solutions they adopt,” concluded Zucchi.

Italy, with its high-tech and eco-friendly manufacturers, is one of the most important players in the textile machinery industry. Italian high-quality machines will foster China textile industry’s quality and will provide environmental conservation – explained Massimiliano Tremiterra, Italian Trade Commissioner in Shanghai. China is implementing policies for the reduction of carbon emissions with new measures for low carbon economy, low energy consumption, low-pollution, one of the future choices in the economic development. For that reason, we think Italian textile machines eco-friendly technology, should be appropriate with Chinese policies. In Eastern China, there are the top three Provinces for textile and garment industry: Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Fujian, that along with the Provinces Guangdong and Shandong reach around 80 per cent of the industry’s production capability. Italy remains one of the leading suppliers of textile machinery in China: for cleaning, dyeing and finishing machines, knitting, stitch-bond, lace and auxiliary machinery.

ITA - Italian Trade Agency
ITA is the Italian government agency which promotes the internationalization of Italian companies, in line with the strategies of the Ministry for Economic Development. ITA provides information, support, and advice to Italian and foreign businesses in order to assist them in developing, facilitating and promoting Italian economic and trade relations with foreign countries, focusing on the needs of the SME, their sector associations and partnerships. ITA operates worldwide from a large network of Trade Promotion Offices linked to Italian embassies and consulates, working closely with local authorities and businesses. ITA provides information, support, and consultancy to Italian companies on foreign markets, promoting and fostering export and cooperation in all areas - capital goods, consumer goods and services - with the ultimate aim of enhancing and boosting their presence on international markets.

ITA also helps Italian and foreign businesses connect with each other, by providing a wide range of services overseas: identification of possible business partners; bilateral trade meetings with Italian companies, trade delegation visits to Italy; official participation in local trade fairs and exhibitions; forums and seminars with Italian experts. The Italian Trade Agency - ITA has been in the People’s Republic of China for more then 50 years now, with four offices respectively in Beijing, Shanghai, Canton, Hong Kong, organizing hundreds of promotional activities every year to enhance trade relationships between China and Italy.

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