ITALY - GIMAV Reports a Negative 2009; Set to Benefit from the Potential of China and Brazil
July 15, 2010

GIMAV, the Italian association of suppliers of glass processing machinery and accessories, has completed and presented its 2009 survey for the industry, which provides a snapshot of its structural characteristics, manufacturing activity and export markets. The glass processing machinery sector accounts for more than 70 percent of sales for GIMAV. Sales by the “glass processing” arm are achieved by companies working in the mechanical, chemical, plastics, rubber and other industries.

Among Italian suppliers of glass processing machinery and accessories, GIMAV reports that there is a strong export drive: about 75 percent of production is for the international marketplace and that exports have come to a standstill as a result of subdued economic activity worldwide: after years of continued growth, 2009 ground to a halt at –28.18 percent over the previous year.

This overall downturn has been offset however by a potential upswing in the first part of 2010. GIMAV notes that attendance at leading international exhibitions for the industry is obtaining encouraging results in the countries that are driving the recovery, including China and Brazil. In 2009, China became the third major export market for the industry, representing double digit increases in total sales over 2008 (+ 16.79 percent) for GIMAV member companies. The growth continued into early 2010 with the country delivering 10 percent GDP growth rates on average. However, GIMAV reports, very few Chinese producers of glass processing machinery can offer complete lines: most are able to produce only one or few types of machines, obliging Chinese technicians to resort to a mix of machinery from different suppliers. “This is one of the major strengths of Italian companies, which offer complete lines of high tech machinery for high quality production,” the report states. Despite Italy’s ups and downs over recent years albeit with encouraging signs, it represents 5.73 percent of total imports of glass processing machinery into China.

GIMAV also adds that good news is coming from Brazil, which the association says is largest buyer of Italian products in all of Central and South America in 2009. Last year it was by far the largest buyer, accounting for 4.95 percent of total exports by the industry, outranking the United States, which fell to 3.76 percent due to the crisis. The Brazilian glass industry has been experiencing a surge in growth and glass consumption has been rising steadily, reaching + 37 percent in 2008/2009, and is tipped for 22 percent growth in 2010.

“The signs of recovery coming from some markets in early 2010 seem to indicate a pickup in demand,” says Renata Gaffo, GIMAV director. “Our companies are being called to make every effort to tackle the worst crisis in the past 70 years. By drawing on the very same features that determined its success in the past – an extensive, wide-ranging sales network, the ability to generate customer loyalty, operating flexibility in response to demand, prompt technical assistance – this special ‘Made in Italy’ sector can make inroads into emerging markets and regain lost ground on traditional ones.”

CLICK HERE to read GIMAV’s full report.

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