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Italian Ceramic Machinery Sales: More than EUR 2 Billion

Monday, February 27, 2023

The Italian ceramic machinery and equipment manufacturing sector posted extraordinary growth in 2021 despite soaring raw material and energy costs and the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry’s sales revenue topped EUR 2 billion in 2021, up 39 % compared to 2020 and not far short of 2017 figures. The result was attributable to rapid growth in both the domestic and export markets.

In 2021, there were 138 active companies in the sector (one less than in 2020) with a total workforce of 7212, up 3,8 % on 2020 and close to the peak level of 2018. These figures were contained in the National Statistical Survey for the industry published annually by the MECS – ACIMAC Research Centre and announced during ACIMAC’s Annual Members’ Meeting. Exports have always been the sector’s key strength and picked up rapidly in 2021 following a three-year decline, surging by 41,8 % to EUR 1541 million. The export market accounted for 74,9 % of total sales. The European Union remained the largest market for Italian ceramic machinery, accounting for 27,4 % of total turnover (EUR 421,8 million). Asia (India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc., excluding China) ranked 2nd with a value of EUR 272 million and a 17,6 % share of the total, followed by Central and South America in 3rd place with EUR 215,8 million (54,7 %). China/Hong Kong/Taiwan dropped two positions to 7th place with a turnover of EUR 97 million, down 3 % year on year. Domestic Italian sales grew by 31,2 % from EUR 392,9 million in 2020 to EUR 515,4 million in 2021. The domestic market accounted for 25,1 % of total sales. The ceramic tile industry remained the dominant client sector in 2021, accounting for 86,8 % of total machinery sales, up 46,1 % over the previous year.

The brick and roofing tile sector ranked 2nd with an 9,1 % increase in turnover compared to 2020 to reach EUR 98,3 million and a market share of 4,8 %. Next came sanitaryware with an excellent performance at EUR 89,9 million (compared to EUR 71,4 million the previous year), up 26 % year on year. The shares of turnover generated by the various machinery categories changed significantly in 2021 while maintaining the order of the previous year’s rankings. Forming machinery saw a 70,4 % increase in turnover compared to 2020 to a total of EUR 449,5 million or 21,9 % of the sector total. Raw materials preparation machinery ranked 2nd at EUR 315,1 million, followed by finishing equipment and diamond tools at EUR 279,1 million. Data from the sector’s latest Economic Monitor revealed that 45 % of Italian companies are expecting to see an upturn in business over the coming months.