The Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT), Milan, has released statistics
showing that textile machinery production in 2007, valued at some 2.8 billion euros, was 3 percent
higher than 2006 production — continuing a recovery that was underway in 2006. Machinery exports
rose to 2.1 billion euros in 2007, representing 77 percent of total production and a 2-percent gain
over year-earlier exports.
ACIMIT attributed the production increase primarily to a recovery in the Italian market,
which grew by 8 percent in 2007. Italian textile producers also increased imports of machinery by
10 percent to more than 630 million euros for the year.
The primary export markets for Italian textile machinery are China, with shipments totaling
360 million euros — 1 percent lower than 2006 shipments; Turkey, 202 million euros — a 14-percent
increase; and India, 135 million euros — down 26 percent. Germany, France and Switzerland showed a
recovery as export markets; and the Brazilian and Iranian markets also grew.
“Of course, these are encouraging signs, but the overall picture is a lot more complex,” said
ACIMIT President Paolo Banfi, who noted “widespread difficulties” in some sectors and a slowing
market following last year’s ITMA in Munich, Germany.
“Obviously, the global economic crisis is weighing heavily on production trends,” Banfi
continued. “In many markets, a feeling of uncertainty for the future prevails. This in turn delays
decisions regarding the remodernization of existing manufacturing facilities.”
Banfi also said the strength of the euro against the US dollar is cause for concern because
of the Italian textile machinery industry’s overwhelming dependence on exports. “At the euro’s
current levels, it will be difficult to remain competitive for very much longer internationally,
despite the fact that the quality of our Made in Italy products remains undisputed and is highly
regarded by all our customers. What’s needed then, is a clear commitment by monetary authorities in
support of the demands of many European manufacturers, implementing the necessary course of action
for slowing the rise of Europe’s currency.”
May 13, 2008