On A Global Scale

Italy weighs in as the fourth largest machine tool manufacturer in the world, with output of approximately $4.9 billion (3.9 million euro ) in 2005, behind Japan, Germany and China. Italy was the third largest machine tool manufacturer in 2004, but it was displaced by China, which posted a 25 percent increase (over 2004) in output to approximately $5.2 billion (4.1 billion euro) in 2005. Even with that, China replaced Germany as Italy's number one export market.

Italy demonstrated its machine tool prowess in early October at its biennial machine tool show, BIMU at the Fiera Milano exhibition complex. BIMU had 1,771 exhibitors representing 30 countries in seven of the 27 halls at the new Milan exhibition center.

While Italy dropped a place for machine tool output, it has kept its position as the world's third-largest machine tool exporter, behind Japan and Germany, with Italy's exports totaling 9.7 percent of its output, approximately $2.8 billion (2.2 billion euro) in 2005.

Forecasts for 2006
Alberto Tacchella, president of the Association of Italian Machine Tool, Robot and Automation Manufacturers (UCIMU-SISTEMI Per Produrre) reported at the show that the nation's machine tool makers expect a 5.7 percent increase in production for 2006, to approximately $5.9 billion (4.7 billion euro). For 2007, production is expected to rise another 5.7 percent over 2006.

After three years of consecutive decreases, deliveries in the domestic market continue to rise and are forecast to increase 4.8 percent in 2006, totaling about $2.6 billion (2.0 billion euro).

Much of the increase that Italian machine tool manufacturers have seen has been derived from sales to China. The Italian National Statistics Institute (Istituto Centrale di Statistica) reports that sales of Italian-made machine tools to China rose 48 percent in the January-May 2006 period, compared to the year-earlier period.

World: Top six countries ranked by machine tool output in dollars for 2005, with percent increase from 2004
$bil EURO bil 2005 % increase over 2004
Japan 13.4 10.7 42.0
Germany 9.9 7.8 8.1
China 5.1 4.1 25.0
Italy 4.9 3.9 4.7
Taiwan 3.4 2.7 14.8
U.S. 3.2 2.5 7.5
World total 50.3 40.0

World: Top five countries ranked by machine tool imports, in dollars, for 2005
$bil EURO bil
China 6.5 5.1
U.S. 3.8 5.1
South Korea 2.1 1.7
Germany 2.1 1.7
Italy 1.5 1.2

World: Top five countries ranked by machine tool demand, in dollars, for 2005, with percent change from 2004
$bil EURO bil 2005 % increase over 2004
China 10.9 8.6 25.0
Japan 7.7 6.11 73.5
U.S. 5.9 4.7 18.6
Germany 5.4 4.3 5.3
South Korea 3.8 3.0 27.8
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