Samoter, the international earth-moving and building machineries exhibition, conducted its 29th edition. According with the organizer’s closing report, there were 445 exhibiting companies and about 40,000 visitors, of which 6,000 international visitors.
World of Concrete represented the United States with a booth in Hall 9. “Samoter in Verona turned out to be much better than anticipated,” said Jackie James, World of Concrete’s Show Director. James mentioned that the WOC booth had good traffic. The WOC delegation met with key association people from many nations, past and current WOC exhibitors, and future attendees. “ We were happy to see a strong show of support by media from all over the world,” said James.
During the first day of the exhibition, UNACEA has hosted the Construction Equipment Day 2014. Participants reviewed economic information on the Italian construction equipment sector’s data. Issued by UNACEA the day before, after six consecutive years of declining sales, the first quarter of 2014 reported 1,352 machines sold on the domestic market, up 20% compared with the first quarter of 2013.
Enrico Santini, president of UNACEA opening the event said: “The Italian industry of construction equipment has an annual turnover of €2.5 billion, produces the whole range of products, and directly employs about 6,000 people, with related industries employing another 30,000. It is an excellence industry, but from the crisis of 2008 it has experienced a drastic half of its turnover. If we want to re-start the sector as a whole, we also need new legislative instruments to avoid a two-speed market that penalizes customers who purchase advanced machinery complying with European anti-pollution standards in favor of those who continue to use outdated tools.”
According to the data presented by Paul Howard, consultant at Off-Highway Research, the increase of sales of construction equipment in the Italian market should rise by 2% at the end of the year, and reaches 7% in 2015.
Furthermore, Luca Agolini, Senior economist of Prometeia, said: “While worldwide construction market should show a growth tendency (+3.6% compared with +3% in 2013), the Italian construction industry’s scenario remains weak. Despite the slowdown of the construction investments’ recession, it will probably ends only at the end of 2014 with an overall decrease of 1.6%. On the other hand, from infrastructures, a key factor for construction equipment, we expect a new decline, even if more moderated compared with the -8% of 2013. Therefore, the appointment with the weak recovery of construction (+0.2%) is postponed to 2015.”
With regard to the international trade, according to the last Construction equipment Outlook realized by Prometeia and Unacea, the export of Italian construction equipment reported an optimistic growth of 21.6% in the first month of 2014, after a decline of -3% recorded on year basis in 2013. In greater detail, the export recovery has been driven by the trade toward the Western Europe (+14.5%), Eastern Europe and Turkey (+71.9%) and Asia (+57.9%). Positive export region include Africa (+8.1%) and North America (+5.6%). Negative export growth happened to Latin America (-34%) and Oceania (-24.5%).
At products’ group level, the most significant growth has been recorded on the export of crushing and screening equipment (+79.5%), followed by concrete machineries (+29.4%), road machines (+20.3%) and earthmoving machineries (+6.8%). Conversely, the export of tower cranes records a loss of 14.1%, while the drilling equipment remains stable (-0.5%). Finally, the trade balance remains positive for €136 billion, with a growth of 27% year-on-year.
In conclusion, despite the serious problems that have characterized the Italian market during the last years, the growth recorded has instilled a moderate optimism for the next years. Veronafiere, Unacea and all the member-companies have shared the mutual effort to re-launch the sector. However, for this purpose we cannot neglect the adoption of legislative measures to boost the investment in the construction industry, with particular attention for the counter-actions to the hydro-geological instability.