The European Union was once again the top purchaser of Italian glass processing machines, accessories and special products in 2012, according to an encouraging industry report recently published by Gimav – the Italian Association of suppliers of machines and accessories for glass processing.

The study was considerably more favorable when compared to the 2010-2011 two-year period that saw a drop in demand from the European continent that led to the Asian market being the source of the most demand in 2011.

Throughout 2012, the entire sector showed it was capable of maintaining excellent momentum, according to the report. Overall, turnover was on the rise, up by 1.5 percent over 2011. In all, total sales for both sectors – flat glass and hollow glass – are valued at 1,114,967,549 Euros and 77.99 percent of that was spurred by exports.

Italy’s market value remains rather low and fraught with weakness, even though Italian builders continue to be preferred providers. Overall, Italian demand has remained on a downward spiral since 2010, according to the release.

In general, the geographic areas of greatest impact are all of Europe (EU and non-EU), which alone absorbed just under 50 percent of Italy’s exports and regained its title as the No. 1 destination, thanks above all to recoveries in non-EU countries and a lull in the recession in the Mediterranean countries with Asia tops at 23.1 percent. North America (9.11 percent) and South America (10.33 percent) also showed robust growth last year.

Turkey has doubled its purchases since 2011 to become a leading market for Italy’s products.