The Italian Woodworking Machinery & Tools Manufacturers Association (Acimall) says figures for the third quarter - July-September 2020 - show some improvements in this key segment of the Italian mechanical engineering industry.
Overall, orders for machinery and tools for wood and furniture are still seeing a downward trend below expectations, however that represents a partial improvement of the economic situation compared to the previous quarters, strongly impacted by the lockdown.
Acimall says this trend indicates that the industry's production system has identified the necessary countermeasures to carry on, within a context where the role of digital communication tools to support business is getting stronger and stronger; the effectiveness of these tools is directly proportional to the skills available in each company and developed in recent years, as well as the investments made in this area.
Webinars, online demos and "digital conversations" are helping companies keep their business relations on global markets alive, reaffirming their competitiveness to customers around the world, traditionally sensitive to "made in Italy" quality.
Looking at figures, wood-furniture technology recorded a decrease of orders by 10.1 per cent compared to the same quarter of 2019, in line with the trend of the entire machine tools industry. Orders in the domestic market are down 32.3 percent, as opposed to a better trend of international demand, which decreased by just one per cent. This general trend is mitigated by the fact that orders increased by more than 40 percent compared to the terrible period of April-June 2020.
The quarterly survey by the Studies Office of Acimall shows that the orders book is equal to 3.1 months (versus 2.4 in the previous quarter), with a price increase by 0.6 percent since the beginning of 2020. The decrease in revenues, compared to the same quarter of 2019, amounted to 9.5 percent, another "reassuring" figure if compared to minus 29.8 percent in the previous quarter.
According to the quality survey, 47 per cent of the interviewed companies indicate a positive production trend, 18 per cent decreasing and 35 per cent stable. Employment will be steady, according to 65 per cent of the sample, while 29 per cent expect a reduction and only six per cent believe it can increase.