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Italy

It has been a period of tension and uncertainty for Italy’s non-ferrous metals operators: everyday life has become increasingly complex owing to the shocks on the LME which have not helped in finalizing the numerous business opportunities that the market offers with “spot” dynamics.

After the two years of light and shadow created by the COVID pandemic, the high confidence levels of consumers and other businesses at the beginning of 2022 encouraged us all to look forward to a spring full of stimuli and optimism. However, severe geopolitical tensions have substantially altered the course of events, with direct repercussions for the Italian economy.

Russia has been crucial to this country’s commodity requirements, supplying more than 40% of its gas needs and more than 10% of its refined petroleum products. The Russian market is also among the top 10 leading export destinations for Italian furniture, clothing and machinery.

Ukraine is also a strategic partner for companies in the engineering sector that export around Euro 800 million of goods and import some Euro 1.8 billion of metallurgical products; the shortage of these materials and semi-finished products will therefore make it difficult for producers.

Also considering rising energy prices, household consumption will decrease - with all that this implies.

We used to think that moments of difficulty were moments of opportunity but, truly, challenging months await us.