Machine tools, orders boom in fourth quarter of 2021

In the last quarter of 2021, orders for machine tools registered a growth of 49.4% compared to the same period last year. In absolute terms, the index stood at 129.1 (basis 100 relates to the 2015 figures). This is the highest value ever recorded by the index.

The results of the data revealed by the Ucimu-Sistemi Per Produrre Business Studies & Culture Center were determined both by the positive trend of orders collected in the foreign market and by the excellent results in the domestic market.

In particular, orders collected abroad increased by 29% compared to the same period last year. The absolute value of the index is 101.5 (again if one considers the 2015 values ​​as 100 as a basis).

On the domestic front, the orders collected recorded an increase of 96.9%, to an absolute value of the index of 243.9.

A very positive year

The fourth quarter closes a year – 2021 – which was extremely positive in terms of orders, apparently also driven by the strong incentives from Transition Plan 4.0, which were particularly high last year.

According to Barbara Colombo, President of Ucimu-Sistemi Per Produrre, “2021 was a decidedly satisfactory year for the Italian machine tools, which on the one hand shows the trend in the order index in the 12 months whose growth was determined., Of the partial recovery of activity on foreign markets and on the other hand by the lively Italian demand supported, also by the government incentives from Transition 4.0 “.

On an annual basis, the order index rose by 70.1% to an absolute value of 130.4. Faced with a clear recovery in cross-border activity, which resulted in an increase in orders of 43.6% to an absolute value of 112.7, order intake in the domestic market has grown more than exponentially. 166.6% more than the 2020s, with an absolute value of 182.7.

The knot of deliveries on June 30th

“However, this unexpected growth in orders, all concentrated in a very short time, combined with the great difficulty of finding raw materials and electrical and electronic components, due to the disruption of supply chains specifically linked to the Far East, puts our companies in difficulty. to try to postpone the deliveries of the machines that the customers have ordered while they wait for the materials to arrive, ”explains Colombo.

Hence the request – already made at the end of last year, but currently unsupervised – to offer companies six more months for the delivery of the ordered machines in 2021, so as not to lose the highest incentive rates. “Sic stantibus rebus manufacturers of machine tools may have difficulty securing the delivery of the ordered machines in 2021 within the deadline set for 30 June 2022, the deadline within which the customer can enjoy tax benefits, as required by government provision 2021 For this reason, we are asking the government authorities for immediate action to extend the delivery conditions for the ordered machines by six months before the end of the year 2021, moving the deadline from 30 June 2022 to 31 December 2022.

The change in the provision – explains Colombo – “would not impose any burden on the Treasury, it would instead be of great benefit to the entire production system in the country, which, engaged in the gradual process of digital transformation, certainly can not stop development in progress indispensable for maintaining the competitiveness of the industry “.

Raw materials and travel

Then there are two other issues that the association raises. The first is the rise in the price of commodities. “We are witnessing the dramatic increase in the prices of raw materials, components and energy, increases that we certainly cannot pass on to our customers. For materials, the impact on our businesses is direct and therefore devastating; for energy, the direct effect is less problematic, as the sector is certainly not classified among the major energy consumers, but it is just as heavy as it affects our supply chain upstream and downstream ”.

The second point is the bureaucracy associated with the movements of operators abroad. “In the specific case of machine tools, in addition to the sales activity, which certainly can not be carried out externally, except in special cases, installation and testing, which requires the transfer of personnel. Unfortunately, there are quarantines, vaccines that are not recognized by the European Medicines Agency (reference is to Sputnik, ed), tampons, dancers and rules not shared between countries make this whole activity very cumbersome. Therefore, we hope that the responsible authorities will intervene to make the bureaucracy associated with travel and business more fluid ”.

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