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Italy

At the start of 2022, domestic non-ferrous metals operators feel like they are in a car rally: the road, which is tortuous and full of pitfalls, mirrors the uncertainty felt across the country owing to the protracted pandemic, to international tensions but, above all, to the increase in energy costs. Daily activity is even more “in pure real time” and price instability is significant, as is the tension surrounding purchases/sales and the lack of clarity regarding the future.

The fundamentals have not changed, with maximum focus on solvency and quick payment in the hope that all the enthusiasm stored up over the last two years will be released shortly.
However, there are some positive signs: in November, for example, industry turnover increased (net of seasonal factors) by 2.4% compared to October, with a positive trend both on the domestic market (+2.2%) and abroad (+2.7%). Across the September-November quarter, the overall index recorded an increase of 3.5% compared to the previous three months (+4.7% for the domestic market and +1.5% for abroad). For a ninth consecutive time, turnover was higher than pre-crisis values - a favourable trend that began in March 2021 and has not yet stopped.

As yet unknown energy costs for the coming months are worrying many industries as this threatens a considerable increase in production costs, which would have disastrous effects on the entire supply chain. The government has just launched new initiatives worth over Euro 3 billion to support sectors in difficulty and to contain increases with the aim of obtaining significant growth rates in the coming years after a quarter of a century of stunted growth.