Ucima: orders pick up both at home and abroad
The 4% growth in packaging machinery exports is pushing sales revenues into positive territory as the outlook remains stable for 2021. Causes of concern include rising prices of raw materials and components and maritime freight rates.
Modena, March 2021 –Based on the sample of companies monitored by the MECS-Ucima research department, the orders received by Italian packaging machinery manufacturers showed an upswing at the end of 2020, both in Italy and internationally, with an overall increase of 7.4% compared to the same period the previous year. International demand grew by 8.1% and domestic demand by 3.4%. Overall however, cumulative orders fell by 1.7% in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
The sector also saw an improvement in sales turnover in the last quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, allowing turnover to remain in positive territory (+1.8%) following the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This was a combined result of 4% growth in the export market and an 8.2% contraction in domestic Italian sales.
As for the export market, 17.6% of companies are expecting an improvement in results in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter, 64.7% are anticipating stable results, and 17.6% expect to see a fall in orders.
The sector therefore remains essentially healthy with companies’ expectations stable for the coming months in both the domestic and export markets.
“This early part of the year has given us confidence and confirms that our sector remains robust,” commented Ucima’s Chairman Matteo Gentili. “The Covid-19 emergency has not caught us unprepared and we are now reaping the benefits of the enormous research and development efforts that our companies have made over the years. This year we are already seeing signs of recovery, but we need to be cautious. We are aware of our competitors’ strengths and of the uncertainty that the pandemic is continuing to cause in many markets. We are also seeing consequences in terms of higher raw material and sea freight costs, and this of course affects production and supply costs.”