Since its earliest days, the activities and services offered have allowed Gimav achieve an extremely high level of representation along the whole glass processing supply chain, playing a priceless role in interactions with public and private institutions. In fact, the sales volume of its member companies makes up approximately 80% of all industry turnover and accounts for 77% of the total exports of Italian manufacturers of glass processing machinery, accessories and special products for the industry.
Although it is a niche sector, the machinery and special products for glass processing industry has always stood out as a hallmark of excellence. In both the industrial and artistic fields, Italy has deftly gained a leadership position on world markets, thanks to the high technological standards of its products, the ability of industry firms to innovate, and the skills acquired through thousands of years of tradition.
As Cinzia Schiatti, President of Gimav, fervently notes: “Italian products stand head and shoulders above the others in terms of their technology and guaranteed lifetime, making them ideally suited for mass production. And, thanks to the quality of materials used and the technology employed, they also ensure durability and safety. Of course, Italian-made machinery is known around the world for its versatility, and therefore also for performance, even on smaller jobs.”
Italy's glass industry is comprised of businesses that are solidly oriented toward exports and that capitalize on their distinctive product quality and services in order to keep production levels high, despite global market ups and downs.
The entire sector gave proof in 2012 of its excellent vitality, energetically overcoming the difficulties faced in 2009. Throughout 2012 the entire sector showed it was capable of maintaining excellent momentum. Overall turnover was on the rise, up by 1.50% over 2011, with especially brilliant performance from hollow glass, which increased its turnover by a full 9.72%. In all, total sales for both sectors - flat glass and hollow glass - are valued at 1,114,967,549 Euros, and 77.99% of that was spurred by exports.
Compared to the 2010-2011 two-year period, the drop in demand from the European continent seems to have turned around and the EU is once again the number one purchaser of Italian glass processing machines, accessories, and special products, a position it forfeited to the Asian market in 2011.
Exports, on the other hand, are still solidly on a rising curve since the crisis in 2009; even though their performance had its ups and downs until the end of 2012. Total growth was 3.44%: flat glass maintained the already healthy positions it achieved in 2011, while hollow glass turned heads with a +10.95% gain over the previous year.
In general, the geographic areas of greatest impact are all of Europe (EU and non-EU), which alone absorbed just under 50% of Italy's exports and regained its title as the number-one destination, thanks above all to recoveries in non-EU countries and a lull in the recession in the Mediterranean countries; Asia with 23.10%, has really put on the brakes compared to last year, when it was at the top; North America (9.11%) and South America (10.33%) both showed robust growth last year.
A ranking by country immediately shines a spotlight on the huge leap made by Turkey which, by doubling its purchases over 2011, has become the leading market for Italy's products; strong growth in the German market, a traditional outlet for Made in Italy products; great strides were also made by Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Outstanding in terms of slippage, are China, which dropped from first to 10th place, and India, that fell from fifth to 14th. Glass processing industry businesses confirmed their aptitude for exports, which brought brilliant results in the hollow glass sector. A resurgence also seems to be on the horizon for flat glass, as seen in early figures for the first quarter of 2013.
Member firms optimistically forecast an upswing in global sales for 2013, though it might be spotty, as has been the pattern for more than 5 years. Although the building and construction industry, to which the glass processing machinery industry is firmly tied, has seen extreme cutbacks in some countries (including Italy), it is now beginning to recover and enterprises forecast a return to normal levels shortly.