Stability really seems to be a mirage for domestic non-ferrous metal operators. The past half-year has been tumultuous and making forecasts has become a sport that nobody enjoys playing any more. The holiday climate makes for postponement of definitive decisions until September and trusting in a recovery that is late in arriving. In recent weeks, most operators have been trying to finalise negotiations to close existing contracts, with attention also focused on the signals coming from the market.
According to data published by Istat, Italian exports posted growth of 1.3% in May and the trend (+8%) is way beyond the most optimistic expectations thanks to intense sales into the EU region. Imports, on the other hand, grew by 0.7% on a quarterly basis and by 3.4% on a trend basis (compared to the +1% recorded in May 2018). According to latest Bankitalia forecasts, inflation calculated from the IPCA harmonised index of consumer prices should fall this year to +0.7% from +1.2% in 2018, and then touch +0.8% and +1% respectively in the next two years.
For many years, Italian trucking companies have been complaining about lower levels of competitiveness when compared to their rivals from the east, as a result of a higher tax burden, bureaucratic difficulties, management costs and cost of work, as well as fuel, service and maintenance costs. Now, a GiPA analysis has revealed that the average cost of a driver in Europe is 70% of that in Italy, so how can we hope to be competitive at the international level?
LCD Trading S.R.L (ITA), Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division