Packaging machine manufacturers slowed down in 2020 and recorded a slight drop in both the domestic market and exports. Preliminary figures from MECS Centro Studi Ucima (Union of Italian Manufacturers of Automatic Packaging Machinery), reveal a turnover for the sector of 7,639 million euros, about 5% less than the numbers reached in 2019. Reflecting on the period, with a pandemic situation that has engaged the whole world for over a year now, this contraction is not surprising.
Food & Beverage, Pharmaceuticals, Home & Personal Care supported the sector. Italian manufacturers also recorded a 6.8% drop on the domestic market, with a turnover of 1,574 million euros. Exports, which have always been our strong point, accounted for 6,065 million euros and lost 4.5% compared to 2019.
We report the comment of Matteo Gentili, president of Ucima, who confirms that the numbers are not surprising and reassures, recalling that the packaging technology sector represents a strong and robust sector of our economy. “We were expecting this slowdown but our sector remains strong and looks to the future with confidence. The Covid emergency did not catch us unprepared: on the contrary, we have demonstrated our strength even in difficult times. Thanks to our 4.0 technologies, which allow remote control of installations, remote testing and remote assistance, we have always remained close to our customers all over the world. In 2021 we expect to return to growth, but caution is required. We are aware that our competitors are very strong and that, due to the pandemic, uncertainty still reigns in many markets.
In this regard, the launch of the National Transition 4.0 Plan will prove decisive, with an investment of around EUR 24 billion by the Italian government to finance companies investing in new technologies.
We too experienced a slight drop in turnover but, especially in the Pharma and Food sectors, our production never stopped. On the other hand, we have kept up our support service, which, partly because of the pandemic, has mainly been carried out by remote service. For several years now, all our machines have been equipped with the latest generation of modems to enable efficient and fast problem solving. Alongside this equipment, we have our own after-sales service made up of expert technicians who support the customer both by telephone and by video conference. Farmo Res, in short, is always there for its customers and is available with enthusiasm for the realisation of any new project.