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Growth for Italian machine tool industry

February 2018

The year 2017 was extremely positive for the Italian machine tool, robotics and automation industry, registering double-digit increases for all main economic indicators, except for exports which have now started growing again after the downturn in 2016.

According to UCIMU, the Italian machine tool, robotics and automation association, the year 2018 will be just as positive.

Massimo Carboniero, President of UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE, commented: “As shown by the preliminary year's data, processed by the Studies Dept. of UCIMU, in 2017 production reported a 10.1% increase compared with the previous year. It is the fourth consecutive year of growth and, in absolute values, is a new record for the industry sector in Italy. The outcome was due both to the excellent performance of Italian manufacturers' deliveries in the domestic market, which grew by 16.1%, and to the positive export trend which increased by 5.8%.”

According to UCIMU's processing of ISTAT data, in the first nine months of the year (latest available survey), major markets for the Made in Italy sector were: China (+11.5%); Germany (-5.8%); United States (-8.7%); France (-0.7%) and Poland (+22.2%). Thanks to these increases, Italy strengthened its role internationally. In particular, in 2017, machine tool, robot and automation consumption in Italy recorded a 13.8% upturn, exceeding the value of the Italian pre-crisis market when it reached its historic peak.

The positive trend is expected to continue over 2018, said UCIMU. There will be increases as regards production and exports, respectively expected to reach almost 6.5 million euros (+6.2%), and 3.6 million euros i.e. 4.7% more than the previous year. Consumption is also expected to grow to around 4.75 million euro (+8.2%): it will drive both the deliveries of Italian manufacturers in the domestic market that should achieve 2.89 million euros (+8.2%), and imports, which should go up to 1.86 million euros (+8.1%). The import/consumption ratio should remain stable at 39%.

“We are really pleased with the year 2017: indeed, it closed with excellent results, collected in Italy and abroad. In addition, considering sales as a whole (not only machine manufacturing but also the production of parts, tools and numerical controls, which are not included in the total of Italian machine tools), we can say that turnover exceeded 8 billion euros,” added Massimo Carboniero.

“Overseas, after a year of regression, sales of Made in Italy products abroad have started again. China returned to the top rank among destination countries, confirming the enormous potential of this nation. Because of this, at the end of November 2017, with the Ministry of Economic Development, the Italian Embassy to the People's Republic of China, ICE-Italian Trade Agency and CMTBA, UCIMU organised the first Italian-Chinese Machine Tool Forum in Beijing.”

Over 450 companies have already registered to participate in the Italian BI-MU exhibition (9-13 October 2018 in Milan), booking an exhibition area three times as large as that reserved in December 2015. See and


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