There is plenty of light but also many shadows for domestic non-ferrous metals operators after the first three months of 2021. The light has been provided by the general increase in prices over recent weeks which have given the possibility of finalizing good business; the shadows, meanwhile, have been cast by a future that is full of uncertainty.
Italy’s GDP in lockdown this March will register a decline of 4.7% compared to February; for the first quarter, a 1.5% contraction is expected compared to the final quarter of 2020 when a double-digit decline returned us to the levels of the 2008 financial crisis. However, something has changed: the impact is less traumatic; expectations are of a faster recovery; and the capitalization of companies appears much more solid than before. Not only that, investments and environmental sustainability now seem to be essential pillars of a good piece of the productive fabric. Considerable effort is needed to simplify and streamline the bureaucracy so as not to nullify its effectiveness. Investments in digital have grown considerably while there is suffering in human capital, and therefore it will be necessary to insist on training to align the job offer to the demands of companies.
Certainly, the more internationalized companies have faced up to the crisis better than those active only on the domestic market; the more innovative companies have reacted better to the drop in orders, turnover and production, and have not changed their international strategies. It should be added that over 60% of companies with plants abroad have not reduced their international presence in the last three years, nor do they intend to. At the same time, 78% of companies with foreign suppliers do not intend to decrease their present number.
LCD Trading S.R.L (ITA), Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division