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The Italian ceramic tile industry confirms its recovery
Type:Press|IndustryNews  Date:2016-1-21  Resource:  Hits:34740  print close

The Italian ceramic tile industry has announced a positive 2015, closing the year with a recovery in a number of its performance indicators. At the year-end press conference, Confindustria Ceramica Chairman Vittorio Borelli presented data revealing growth in both production and total sales, driven by a positive export trend and long-awaited stability in demand in the Italian market after years of contraction.

Specifically, exports rose by 1.8% to 320 million sq.m (sold at an average price 13.6 €/sq.m), while domestic sales remained stable at 81 million sq.m (-0.3%, average price around 10 €/sq.m). Total sales amounted to 401 million sq.m (+1.4%).

The association estimates that the sector saw between 4.5% and 5% turnover growth in 2015 compared to the €4.9 billion registered in 2014.

Some of the strongest market performances were in the Far East (+7.2%), the NAFTA region (+6.3%) the Gulf states (+5.5%) and the Balkan region (+3.7%). By contrast, exports fell in North Africa (-3%) and Central and Eastern Europe (-5.6%), where the Russian crisis compounded by EU sanctions effectively halved the market''s absorption capacity.

Italian tile production grew by several million square metres to reach 393 million sq.m (+3%) as a combined result of increased demand and the conclusion of the finished product destocking cycle.

The Prometeia Forecasting Observatory indicates that growth is likely to continue in 2016, with domestic sales forecast to rise by 0.9%, exports by 3.5% (largely due to a more consistent contribution from NAFTA and Gulf countries) and national production by 3%. However, Confindustria Ceramica makes no secret of its concerns about the political and economic uncertainty in certain geographical regions and the potentially adverse impact this may have on forecasts.

Commenting on the general situation, Confindustria Ceramica''s Chairman Vittorio Borelli expressed his satisfaction not just with the results achieved by the sector companies but also with the property tax measures introduced by the Italian government (both the elimination of taxes on primary residences and the extension to 2016 of tax incentives for remodelling and energy saving). But he expressed concern about the persistence of the severe tax burden on companies and the need to renew EU antidumping measures towards Chinese tile imports (due to expire in September 2016), threatened by the possibility of China being granted "market economy" status.

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