Recent events and estimates have highlighted that, despite the most alarmist rumours about the persistence and the inevitability of the crisis, the Italian mould industry is kept in good health and is essentially alive, in spite of a broader and broader array of fierce competitors. As witnessed by the fact that behind China, United States, Japan, Germany and Korea, national producers have reached the sixth place in the world sector rankings.
Better dies than moulds
Excellent was – according to both the official 2012 data by the international trade association Istma and the unofficial ones expressed by sector managers – in detail the performance of metal and sheet metal ambits. Concerning the first, Italian manufacturers surpassed the German, French and Spanish rivals, conquering the first planetary place. Regarding the second, only Japan scored a better performance, leaving us the second place of the podium.
Eighth exporter of moulds (and surpassed in this case by Canada and Spain, too), the Peninsula attains encouraging results also in plastic solutions, confirming its sixth position by output after China, Japan, USA, South Korea and Germany. Relying on a turnover that is expected to reach about 1.7 billion Euros, moulds are sold by 42% of the total beyond the borders, against the 50% export share attained for sheet metal and metal dies, whose production value has been recently estimated to amount to 380 millions.
The Asia-Pacific area as driving engine
If on one hand the drop of profit margins is worrying, as we are going to see with the interview with the President of Ucisap (Italian Union of Manufacturers of Moulds and Precision Equipment) and sales manager of Giurgola Stampi, Lino Pastore (see the interview); on the other hand positive signs are not missing indeed. Both in the sheet metal and in the plastic ambit, highlighted the General Manager of Ucisap Giovanni Corti, entrepreneurs’ expectations and prospects are inspired by moderate optimisms. Besides, the perceptions of an imminent recovery of markets go hand in hand with a new investment race and, what matters more, with the strategic planning for the future. Other data, from different sources, seem to justify their great manoeuvres. The market analysis company Grand View Research, headquartered in San Francisco, has recently estimated that within 2020 the market of injection moulding for plastic parts is expected to reach the value of about 280 billion dollars worldwide. The demand is likely to rise from 92 million tons in 2013 to the over 130 at the end of the decade, with the Asia-Pacific macro region as driving engine. Its growth is estimated to reach 5.4% yearly rates, starting from the turnover of 70.18 billion dollars achieved in 2013. Automotive and constructions will mainly share in the exploit, according to the Californian brand. Asia, not by chance, is one of the hot fronts for made in Italy moulds, also in the opinion of the President of Ucisap, and the good piece of news is that China is no longer the only available Eldorado.