PLAST 2023 offers many opportunities for interaction with operators from all over the world

A natural exhibition venue for the plastics and rubber industry, with a special emphasis on plastics and rubber processing machinery, equipment, and moulds, the trade fair is ready to welcome exhibitors and visitors from all around the world

There are more than 700 direct exhibitors already registered for the event, with over 36.000 square metres reserved, figures that support the repute of the fair as a venue for a rich selection of innovative products and services thanks to businesses and professionals from all over the world and most notably from Europe.

The 2023 edition of PLAST thus proves to be a success from the onset, with the added features of the three satellite fairs, each dedicated to an area of excellence in the sector, i.e., RUBBER, 3D PLAST and PLAST-MAT, demonstrating the dynamism of a market that expresses extremely positive values.

The core of the exhibition is the section with machinery, auxiliary equipment, and plastics and rubber moulds, an important sector in Italian manufacturing with over 400 companies.

The trade Association Amaplast’s-MECS Statistical Studies Centre foresees a substantially positive balance for this sector again in 2022 – after the rebound recorded in 2021, a year ending with double-digit growth in all indicators – demonstrating the ability of the sector to absorb the impacts of the perturbations that have occurred and been compounded over the past three years. Overall production for 2022 is expected to reach the threshold of 4.5 billion euros, with growth of one percentage point over 2021: while not in itself eye-popping, it consolidates the recovery achieved during the previous year, even exceeding by two points the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

Growth, although tempered, is recorded in both components of demand: exports (which represent roughly 70% of production) show growth of approximately 2%, again exceeding 3 billion euros; the domestic market registers a +1%, partly influenced by a 5% increase in imports.

As regards exports by region, according to ISTAT data for the first nine months of 2022, flows have intensified to Asian markets (led by India), the Americas (South America in particular, Colombia out ahead), and Europe (especially extra-EU states, excluding the CIS for obvious reasons). On the other hand, flows to Africa have diminished, both to Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan markets.

In the European market – which overall absorbs almost 60% of the total – sales performance is good in several key markets such as Germany, the major trade partner for Italian machinery manufacturers (+8%), and Poland (in third place with a significant +23%). Moving down the hierarchy of export destinations, we find good results in Spain (+11%), Austria (+28%), Portugal (+35%), Switzerland (+4%), and Serbia (+145%).

On an opposite trend, supplies to French converters have decreased by 16% and those the United Kingdom by 5%, probably due to repercussions of Brexit.

A particular case is Hungary, a market of a certain importance. After a peak in 2021, sales have returned to the average levels of previous years.