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Textile-clothing, growth in 2022 despite the war

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Textile-clothing, growth in 2022 despite the war

The key points

  • In the two-month period from January to February, exports rose by 16% over 2021
  • 2021 closes with TMA revenues of € 52.9 billion, + 18.4% on 2020
  • The gap with 2019 is still to be filled

In the days when alarms with disturbing tones and terms come from other countries, such as apocalypse or catastrophe, Sergio Tamborini, president of Sistema Moda Italia (Smi), presents a scenario that is anything but negative for the manufacturing part of the textile-fashion chain – accessory (Tma). A shared vision – and extended to many other sectors of the Made in Italy of excellence – by Marco Fortis, director of the Edison Foundation and lecturer at Cattolica. “Eight months ago, when I picked up the baton of the SMI presidency from Marino Vago, we were in full recovery and the Covid nightmare really seemed almost over – recalled Tamborini yesterday from the headquarters of Confindustria Moda, of which SMI is the main component for employees and turnover -. The costs of energy, textile and chemical raw materials and logistics had already started to rise a few months earlier, but no one could have foreseen the current war scenario and the stratospheric increases that accompany it. But our supply chain holds up, on the strength of the positive data of 2021 and a cautious optimism on 2022, despite the geopolitical tensions, to which we will have to get used to for decades to come “.

The preliminary balance of SMI for 2021 indicates a turnover of the textile-clothing (the “mountain” of the fashion system supply chain) of 52.9 billion, 8.2 billion more than in 2020 (+ 18.4%). The gap with 2019 is not yet closed: compared to pre-Covid levels, it remains below 5.4% (3 billion in value). “The beginning of 2022, however, left, and still bodes well, despite the invasion of Ukraine by Russia which began on February 24, above all thanks to exports – underlines Tamborini -. While last year the January-February two-month period was still characterized by heavy contractions (-18.6% for imports, -15.9% for exports) based on the latest Istat data, processed by the Confindustria Study Center fashion for SMI, in the first two months of 2022 foreign trade continues at satisfactory rates: the growth in exports is close to 16%, for a value of 5.3 billion “.

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More than recovery or rebound, Marco Fortis prefers to speak of resilience, a word used too much in the last year, but which really suits the trend of the textile-clothing sector. «The economic and above all manufacturing fabric of Italy is very different compared to ten years ago and Industry 4.0 has pushed to significantly renew machinery, textiles and more. It is also thanks to this that the entire production system has reacted better than other countries to Covid and now to war – said the president of the Edison Foundation -. And the data for the first quarter are comforting: Italian industrial production has remained stable, while Germany has lost 5% and Spain 1.8% ».

Tamborini had announced since he took office that he wanted to focus on training, greater cohesion between the parts of the supply chain and social and environmental sustainability. The first months of the presidency did not make him change priorities, on the contrary: “We must focus on what is in our power to change or improve, relying, at least in the short term, on a commitment by the Government to calm energy prices – he said. the president of SMI, who is also the CEO of the Ratti group -. All the rest is up to us, starting with the awareness of strengthening the capital structure of companies and increasing their average size. Only in this way can we maintain global leadership: Italy is the only country in the world to have an intact and quality TMA supply chain, as evidenced by the fact that the French produce the top of the range here and are buying up mountain companies “.

The rapid survey by Confindustria Moda illustrated yesterday by Tamborini shows that in the period January-March 2022 a large majority of companies in the sample, 83%, experienced a positive trend in sales compared to the first three months of 2021. More in detail, 18% of the panel shows a growing turnover “of more than 50%”, 37% indicates increases “between 20% and 50%”, while 13% indicates growth “between 10% and 20 % “. For the second quarter, the average increase in sales expected remains positive (+ 16.3%), albeit lessening compared to the recoveries of the previous quarters, in light of both the comparison with the rebound recorded in the second quarter of 2021, and the uncertainties in the international scenario due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. “All the more reason – concluded Tamborini – we need greater cohesion of the supply chain and a stronger commitment to rebalance the upstream and downstream margins”.

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