It’s no surprise that when GIMAV, the Italian Association of Manufacturers and Suppliers of Machinery, Systems, Accessories and Special Products for glass processing, released data from its members, that COVID had an impact.

Production was down 16.6% due to a drop in exports (-14.9%) and in domestic sales (-20.7%), according to GIMAV. Imports also fell (-11.1%), causing the domestic market to shrink (-17.2%). There was an overall drop in trade (-14.2%) as well as in the trade balance (-16.1%) which, however, remained positive at nearly $1.27 million.*

The ability to penetrate international markets increased, with a 71.5% export share of sales, while sales on the domestic market held at 60.9%.

“Our industry was really put to the test by 2020,” said GIMAV president, Michele Gusti. “Despite the pandemic that swept in waves across our sector and the ensuing lockdowns and border closures, the manufacturers of Glass Processing Machinery and Technologies acted swiftly to limit their losses, more successfully than their international competitors.”

Flat glass processing technologies were the most affected by the pandemic with lower revenues, exports and domestic sales for all of 2020, compared to 2019 (except for November sales).

The macro-family of flat glass processing technologies was, without doubt, the hardest hit by the effects of the pandemic, according to GIMAV.

By January 2021, the negative December 2020 performance had already subsided, paving the way for recovery in February, thanks to good domestic sales and a partial resurgence in exports that stabilized in March as exports fully resumed, the associated reported.

“The data says it all: 2020 was a tough year for everyone, including the Manufacturers of Glass Processing Machinery and Technologies,” says Fabrizio Cattaneo, GIMAV director. “However, given the encouraging first-quarter figures, our industry can look to 2021 with optimism.”

Projecting first-quarter results to December 2021, revenues are expected to grow by 4.5%.

*The financial information was converted from Euros to U.S. dollars on July 14, 2021.