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Italian exports of earthmoving machinery stood at €2.18 billion at last September – a rise of 6.2% – according to the latest surveys from the Samoter-Prometeia Observatory, based on information from Unacea (the association of Italian construction machinery manufacturers.

The survey showed that imports were also up, to €710 million, which was an increase of 14.4%. Investments in the construction sector also improved, by 0.5%.

The first nine months of 2018 saw an increase of 6.2% in value, compared to the same period in 2017.

Italian-built earthmoving machinery and equipment took the largest share of orders from abroad, worth more than €1 billion – up 13%. Then came machinery for preparing aggregates, which at €382 million was up 0.9%; drilling at €276 million, down 0.9%; and concrete, which at €211 million was down 3%.

Exports of tower cranes also performed well at €196 million – a rise of 10.7%. Roadbuilding machinery came to €93 million, down by 3.6%.

Western Europe confirmed its status as the main area once again in the third quarter of the year, with €915 million and an increase of 6.9%. North America took second place with a rise of 19.6% to €287 million, while the Central and Eastern Europe plus Turkey region ranked third with €275.8 million, which was up 14%.

Exports increased to the Middle East, with a total of €108 million, up 4.4%, and to India with €42 million, up 6.8%.

Downturns, however, were posted by Central and South America, where €99.7 million represented a fall of 17.75%, North African countries at €75 million were down 12.9%, Russia’s €56 million was a decrease of 0.2%, and China was down 1.4% at €46 million.

In the Italian market, imports of construction and site machinery and equipment between January and September came to €710.5 million, up by 14.4% over the first nine months in 2017.

The ongoing recovery in the Italian construction sector contributed to results for vehicle and machinery imports. Data analysed by the Samoter-Prometeia Outlook indicated growth in investments of 0.5% in the third quarter of the year.

As a result, forecasts for the final balance in 2018 continue to rise, closing at €140.5 billion, up by 1.9%. Residential construction was once again the driving sector in 2018, thanks to renovations and energy requalification projects. The non-residential sector also performed well with an increase of 1.7%, while the public works sector still struggled to take off, with a rise of just 0.3%.

For the next two years, the Outlook estimates further expansion of 2.1% per year on average, thanks most of all to the strong impact of public funding in civil engineering, which would in 2020, it said, increase total investments in infrastructure by 6%, in addition to the 2.5% rise expected in 2019.

Samoter said these were encouraging signals during the run-up to the 31st edition of its Italian trade fair, scheduled at Veronafiere from 21 to 25 March, 2020.

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