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This has been a hot summer so far for domestic non-ferrous metals operators who, as never before, are managing considerable operational complexities and who are preparing to face the latter part of the year with creativity, flexibility and determination. In fact, 2021 has been a stimulating year that could be taken as a reference point for many market “experiments” as commercial, technical and production conditions have often changed and have led to an even more “pure real time” management of business activities.

One stimulus has certainly been the automotive sector - an important source of scrap and a flagship industry for Italy. This needs at least one million cars in production to maintain its supply chains while producing just over 500,000 units. Part of the sector is destined in the near future for a transformation given the growth of electric vehicles; indeed, car components themselves will face a phase of investment and conversion to adapt to this shift towards electric mobility.

Unlike other manufacturing segments, the automotive sector has not yet returned to pre-COVID levels: in May, production was 71.8% higher than in the same month last year but 14.5% lower than in May 2019. For the first five months of 2021, production was down 7.2% on pre-COVID levels.

Our indomitable operators have the same desire and enthusiasm to develop new relationships and opportunities and to grow. The mood is positive despite persistent and considerable stress on pricing. It should also be added that considerable sensitivity to technological innovation and sustainability is naturally generating economic and financial value.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan certainly represents an opportunity to give the necessary impetus to a digital, technological and sustainable transformation of Italian companies’ production activities and services that would otherwise have taken much longer.