Interview

2018 will be positive for the Italian machine tool industry

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Which are the important markets you are targeting for growth in the machine tool sector? Kindly elaborate on this.

Export is a very important part in the turnover of our enterprises. It is enough to consider that even today, despite a really lively and receptive Italian market, more than half of ‘Made in Italy’ production of the sector is exported. China, Germany, United States, France, Poland, Spain, Mexico, Turkey, Russia and the United Kingdom turned out to be the first ten destination countries of our exports in the first ten months of 2017 (latest available data). These are very heterogeneous countries from a geographical and cultural point of view, as a testimony to the capacity of Italian machine tool manufacturers to interpret the demand requirements and propose customised solutions. If we look to the future, in 2018, exports should start to grow again. The top destinations of our sales will be, as usual, the established markets, such as Germany, United States, China, France, Poland and Spain.

However, there are several interesting emerging areas that are monitored by UCIMU such as India, Iran and the ASEAN countries. These countries have involved in a process of industrialisation and development, which has registered a strong acceleration over the last few years.

What is the current import-export market scenario of the Italian machine tool industry?

High qualitative standards, marked customization of product offering according to customers' requirements and special care for the after-sale service: these are the main features of the sector's ‘Made in Italy’ strategy. Thanks to this special combination, Italy has always been among the leading countries with regard to metal machining. Again this year its third position was confirmed in the ranking of machine tool exporting countries, only behind Germany and Japan, but ahead of China, Taiwan, Switzerland and South Korea.

In 2017, a share of 55 % of the global Italian output was sold abroad, for a total amount of 3,440 million euro. Italy imported 1,720 million euro of machine tools, corresponding to 39.2 % of the total consumption of the country in 2017, (preliminary year's data, Studies Department & Business Culture of UCIMU). In the first 10 months of 2017, the countries that sold more machine tools in Italy were Germany 304 million euro, Belgium 106 million euro and Japan 92 million euro.

In the future, Italy intends to go on competing in the international scenario.

Thank you for the interview.

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