Canadian Packaging

Italian packaging machinery industry forges ahead as turnover reaches €7.19 billion

By Canadian Packaging staff   

General 6th National Statistical Survey on the Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturing Industry Confindustria Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association UCIMA

One of the most dynamic Italian manufacturing sectors, the Italian packaging machinery industry recorded 8.9 percent growth. One out of every five packaging machines sold worldwide was made in Italy.

According to data recovered from the 6th National Statistical Survey on the Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturing Industry conducted by UCIMA (Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association), it reached €7.19 billion (~CDN $11.13 billion) through 2017.

  • The sector competes head-to-head with Germany in international markets.
  • Export sales totaled €5.7 billion (~CDN $8.8 billion) in 2017 (79.1 percent of the total), 7.5 percent up on 2016.
  • The Italian market continues its positive growth trend, closing 2017 at €1.5 billion (~CDN $2.3 billion), up by +14.4 percent over the previous year.
  • Food and Beverage are the main outlet sectors.

The Italian automatic packaging machinery industry continues to consolidate its global-leading position.

According to data collected by the research department of Ucima, the sector’s national association affiliated with Confindustria, the sector closed 2017 with further year-on-year growth.

Total turnover was €7.19 billion (~CDN $11.13 billion), which was 8.9 percent up on 2016.


The sector continues to stand out for its strong international presence, with Italian companies competing head-to-head with their German counterparts in all world markets. One machine out of every five sold worldwide is made in Italy.

Exports grew by 7.5 percent to €5.7 billion (~CDN $8.8 billion).

The domestic market also continued its strong performance with 14.4 percent growth to more than €1.5 billion (~CDN $2.3 billion).

The sector consequently recorded a positive trade balance of €5.2 billion (~CDN $8.05 billion), up by 7.1 percent.

These results were generated by 634 companies employing 32,227 people (up 8.7 percent on 2016).

The sector was once again Italy’s most dynamic capital goods manufacturing industry in 2017, ranking top in terms of export share and second in terms of overall turnover.

Results In International Markets
The European Union remains the most important market, accounting for 37.4 percent of total turnover @ €1.905 billion (~CDN $2.95 billion)). Asia ranks second with a value of €1.112 billion (~CDN $1.7 billion) and a 21.8 percent share of turnover.

The North American market ranks third with €592.6 million (~CDN $917 million) at 11.6 percent). Next come Central and South America at €532.8 million (~CDN $824 million) or 10.4 percent, non-EU Europe at €515.4 million (~CDN $798 million) at 10.1 percent; and Africa and Oceania at €439.5 million (~CDN $680 million) at 8.6 percent).

The United States, France and Germany remain the top three individual countries, followed by Mexico, China, Spain, U.K., Russia, Turkey and Poland.

The Italian Domestic Market
The Italian market has enjoyed a further positive year thanks to the tax incentives offered by the Industry 4.0 program. Turnover generated in Italy grew by 14.4 percent year-on-year to €1.5 billion (~CDN $2.3 billion).

Client Sectors
As for the breakdown of turnover amongst the various client sectors, the food and beverage sector maintained its dominant position in 2017 accounting for 56.1 percent of total turnover.

Even considered individually, these two sub-sectors lead the rankings. Food was the largest client sector in 2017, making up 30.25 percent of total turnover at €2.174 billion (~CDN $3.36 billion) and with an export share of 74.4 percent.

Beverage was second with 25.9 percent of total turnover and exports making up 85 percent of the segment’s sales.

They were followed by the “Others” segment, which includes packaging machinery for tobacco, tissue, etc., with €1.464 billion (~CDN $2.27 billion) at 20 percent of the total and an export share of 83 percent, then the pharmaceutical machinery sector with €1.16 billion ~CDN $1,8 billion) at 16 percent of the total and an export share of 80 percent.

At the bottom of the rankings were the cosmetics and chemicals segments with turnovers of respectively €272 million (~CDN $421 million) and €257 million (~CDN $398 million) and amongst the lowest export percentages, 74 percent and 76 percent.

In Italy, food remains the leading segment at 37.1 percent, followed by beverage and others.

The Structure Of The Sector
The Italian packaging machinery sector reflects the structure of Italian industry in general.

Some 65.8 percent of companies have revenues of below €5 million (~CDN $7.741 million) and account for just 8.9 percent of the sector’s total turnover.

The 48 largest companies (with turnovers above €25 million/~CDN $38.7 million) generate 66.8 percent of the sector’s total turnover.

The larger companies are also the only ones to have seen growth in average number of employees.

Despite this polarization, 2017 saw the growth of medium-sized companies (with turnovers in the €10-25 million range), which increased in number from 52 to 77 (+25) and generated 15.4% of total turnover.

The largest number of companies are located in the Emilia Romagna region (36 percent), accounting for 61.9 percent of total turnover. The next most important regions are Lombardy (28.1 percent of companies and 17.6 percent of turnover), Veneto (11.8 percent of companies and 8.9 percent of turnover) and Piedmont (11.4 percent of companies and 6 percent of turnover).

2018 Forecasts
“The volatility of markets and constant changes in the geopolitical conditions in a number of regions make it increasingly difficult to make reliable forecasts,” says Ucima chairman Enrico Aureli.

“On balance however we expect last year’s growth trend to be maintained. According to the Ucima Research Department’s forecasts, the industry will continue its strong performance in Italy and Europe. Sales are also expected improve in Asia and Africa with growth of between six percent and 6.5 percent in the two-year period 2018-2020,” continues Aureli.

To read the full statistical results of the 6th UCIMA’s National Statistic survey on the Italian packaging machinery manufacturing industry, click HERE.


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