Acimall, the Confindustria member association representing the woodworking technology industry, has published the “2018 Annual Report”. Available online at https://bit.ly/2YpCZJa, the report offers a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the wood technology sector. After introducing Acimall’s activities and listing its member companies, the document analyses the key indicators of global economy and then illustrates the trend of the mechanical industry, and specifically the sector of “made in Italy” machinery and accessories for the wood and furniture industry. Probably, the most significant section of the document is the analysis of the export flows of global trade leaders (Germany, Italy, China, Taiwan, Austria and the United States), focused on the major international markets or the most promising regions.
Acimall’s new logo
Acimall has just presented a new logo, designed to highlight the close relationship between the association and the Confindustria community. The design is more modern and stresses Acimall’s role at international level with a clear, self-explanatory payoff (“Italian Woodworking Technology Association”).
Here is an extract from the annual report:
“Woodworking technology production, the “flower in the buttonhole” of Italian industry, boasts a wide and diversified portfolio, from primary operation equipment for raw material to surface finishing systems, up to secondary processing of solid wood and wood-based panels.
Italy exports all over the world and its strong propensity to globalisation has been one of the keys to overcome the crisis. Made-in-Italy, a synonym for quality, flexibility and innovation, is known and appreciated in each market, as witnessed by the growth of the industry in recent years.
Domestic production amounted to 2,514 million euro, up by 10.6% from 2017; a significant result originating from the first half supported both by the domestic market and by export. The second half, instead, was characterised by basically stable production levels, closing the year with a two-digit increase. Looking at the historical trend, it is clear that this has been the best result in the past ten years; such trend does not consider the inflation effect of production prices, that would negatively affect the comparison between today’s figures and those of 2008.
Anyway, a historical review reveals four economic phases in the past decade of woodworking technology: the first crisis in 2009 causing a 40% market share loss; the subsequent rally that only partially restored the production levels; the second crisis from 2012 to 2014, when stagnating demand forced companies to undertake painful reorganisation processes. Since the end of 2014 there has been a strong recovery, with virtuous and well-organised companies re-gaining the market shares they had lost and, in some cases, even exceed pre-crisis levels.
EXPORT VOLUME UP BY 8.2%
The sector is characterised by strong propensity to internationalisation, between 70 and 80% on average.
The year 2018 closed with an export volume of 1,721 million euro, up by 8.2%. This is another significant result following previous positive periods. The recovery was mainly driven by European markets, which still account for 70% of total Italian export, and by North America, especially the United States.
The third variable that distinguishes the end-of-year results is the value of the domestic market, close to 800 million euro in the year under scrutiny, with a significant increase by 16.4%. Also in this case, the result has been better than in the past ten years and more than double compared to 2012.
The trend is supported by several factors: first of all the very low levels of the crisis years have “magnified” the growth rates. Recovery in the furniture industry was another key factor: Italy is the world’s third-largest producer in this industry.
In the past two years, however, we believe the most important driver for the domestic market was the package of measures introduced by the Italian government for the mechanical industry, and specifically those for Industry 4.0.
In recent years, the Sabatini law for the purchase of machinery has been prolonged and tax credits for R&D investments have been maintained.”