The index of orders intake for Italian textile machinery, as compiled by ACIMIT (the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers), fell by 47 per cent for the period April-June 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, with orders falling both abroad and in Italy, mainly due to lockdown of production units, particularly in the month of April.
A 44 per cent decrease in orders was recorded on foreign markets, whereas the domestic market showed a 62 per cent drop compared to the second quarter of the previous year. “The lockdown of production units in April heavily influenced the orders intake, and a deep concern remains for the upcoming months,” said ACIMIT president Alessandro Zucchi. “On reopening, our manufacturers worked to process orders collected prior to the lockdown.”
ACIMIT noted that the current total extent of assured work amounts to just two and a half months. “Our sector will have to face an equally difficult period. The restart has been slow due to a marked slowdown in apparel consumption in Europe and the United States; a situation that does not lead to new investments from our customers. What’s more, the unknown factor of a possible resurgence of the virus in next Autumn is further curbing the purchase of new machinery,” said Zucchi.
Focusing on digitalisation and internationalisation is fundamental for relaunching the sector, according to ACIMIT. “We must take advantage of this moment of forced calm to increase the competitiveness of our businesses,” said Zucchi. “In partnership with the Politecnico University of Milan, we’ve launched an ambitious project that aims to create a digital label for Italian textile machinery. This will allow our machinery to present itself on global markets with a cutting-edge technological offer. As far as our efforts geared towards internationalisation are concerned, the support that the Italian Trade Agency is lending to our sector with remote activities is certainly commendable, in making up for the void created by the cancellation of numerous promotional initiatives that had been planned for 2020. Now it’s up to our manufacturers to take advantage of these new tools.”