Foreign trade in the provinces of Belluno and Treviso in the first nine months of 2021: a double-digit year-on-year rebound and full recovery of pre-Covid export levels for both Treviso (+4.1%) and Belluno (+1.0%)


Economy - published on 17 December 2021


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Source: press office of the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Treviso Belluno|Dolomiti

The comment of President Mario Pozza
The data for the first nine months of 2021, as was already the case for the first half of the year, shows a strong double-digit rebound in exports from the region and from the provinces of
Treviso and Belluno,- commented Chamber of Commerce President Mario Pozza. – In addition to this, pre-Covid export levels have also been exceeded: +6.3% for Veneto, +4.1% for Treviso
and +1.0% for Belluno.
For Veneto and Treviso, however, this is a confirmation of what was already evident in the first half of the year. In the province of Treviso, in particular, – continues the President – the
growth compared to the first nine months of 2019 is mainly guaranteed by the higher sales to EU countries (+6.0%). However, some sectors have failed to recover the levels of the previous two years:
machinery (-3.8%), footwear (-4.2%) and textiles-clothing (-11.4%).
Thanks to the positive contribution of European Union markets (+5.3%), exports from Belluno,- the President points out,- were able to rise above pre-pandemic levels by more than 30
million (+1.0%). It is worth noting that in June, foreign sales were still 80 million euro short (-3.7%). The eyewear sector, which accounts for almost 70% of the province’s exports, recovered an
impressive EUR 670 million (+44.9%) on an annual basis, bringing it close to the total recovery over the two-year period (- EUR 22 million). Excluding eyewear, Belluno’s exports exceed sales in
the first nine months of 2019 by +5.9%, thanks to the machinery industry (+6.2%), textiles-clothing, electronics and metal carpentry.
The general picture
The territorial data on foreign trade in the first nine months of 2021, released by Istat on 10 December, show a strong double-digit rebound compared to the same period last year,
leading trade flows to exceed even the levels of the same period in 2019. This is happening at national, regional and provincial level.
Exports grew on an annual basis by +20.1% for Italy and +18.7% for Veneto: the rebound involved all the provinces of Veneto (+17.7% for Treviso and +36.3% for Belluno) with the exception of
Rovigo which showed a downward trend compared to the previous year (-22.6%) almost exclusively due to the chemical-pharmaceutical sector whose sales more than tripled in the first nine months of
2020 compared to the previous year.
Export levels were also above pre-Covid results: +5.8% for Italy and +6.3% for Veneto, compared to the first nine months of 2019, which translates into +4.1% for Treviso and +1% for Belluno;
it should be noted, by the way, that the latter was still down on the previous two months (-3.7%) in the first half of the year.
Imports in the first nine months of 2021 also showed a strong rebound compared to the same period of the previous year (+23.6% for Italy, +27.8% for Veneto, +22% and +25.8% respectively for
Treviso and Belluno) and exceeded the levels of the previous two-year period, still unaffected by the pandemic: +5.3% at the national level, +5.8% at the regional level. The increase over the
two-year period is widespread in all the Veneto provinces, with the exception of Rovigo (-16.4%) due to a sharp drop in imports of metallurgy. In Treviso and Belluno imports grew by +8.6% and
+11.8% respectively.
Sector dynamics of Treviso exports
In the first nine months of 2021, Treviso exports exceeded Euro 10.5 billion, an increase of +17.7% on an annual basis and +4.1% if we take as a reference the results obtained in the first nine
months of 2019 (Euro 10.1 billion). The same dynamics can also be seen in the distinction between areas of destination, albeit with different intensities: alongside the double-digit rebound in the
first nine months of 2020, which affects both areas, growth over the two-year period is +6.0% for sales to countries within the European Union, while exports to countries outside the Union are at
+1.3%.
On the other hand, the situations are very diversified, sector by sector, and we will now analyse them in detail, starting with industrial machinery, the main product item for Treviso
exports.

Industrial machinery
Exports of machinery, which totalled €1,657 million in the first nine months of 2021, increased compared to the same period last year (+14.1%), but not enough to reach the sales
levels realised at 30 September 2019 (-3.8%; -65 million). The distinction between intra- and extra-EU markets, both of which absorb about half of total exports, shows that 2019 export levels to
EU markets have been reached (+0.7%; +5.6 million), but flows to non-EU markets are still lacking (-7.9%; -71 million).
Among the most important non-EU countries, exports to India (-52.7% over the two-year period; -41.5 million) were particularly lacking, in addition to those to China and Hong Kong (-21.4%; -18.7
million), which were also negative on an annual basis (-2.2%), Russia (-28.9%; -17.3 million) and the United Kingdom (-14.5%; -10 million). On the other hand, sales to South Korea (+79.9%; +14
million), Brazil (+77.5%; +13.6 million) and to the first reference market, the United States (+1.7%; +2 million), exceeded the levels achieved in the first nine months of 2019.
The trend within the European Union (+0.7%) was strongly influenced by the drop in sales to the Spanish market, which fell by -9% on an annual basis and by -33.3% over the two-year period (-35
million), in addition to a small share of lost exports to the Netherlands (-8.9% over the two-year period; -3.4 million). On the other hand, exports of machinery to Germany (+9.9%; +15 million)
and France (+4.8%; +6.6 million), the leading European markets for the Treviso sector, have grown considerably, with the addition of Austria, Belgium, Poland and Romania to remain among the top
ten countries in the export value list.
Fashion system: textiles-clothing and footwear
Even for the textile-clothing sector, the rebound in exports compared to the first nine months of last year (+12.1%) is not enough to recover the levels reached two years ago:
almost 104 million euros (-11.4%) are missing. Similarly, the sector’s imports, which are strongly correlated to exports due to the well-known processes of production internationalisation, fail
to recover over the same period in 2020 (-2.8%) and remain far below the levels recorded in the first nine months of 2019 (-24.2%; -198 million). Looking at outlet markets, sales in the two-year
period fell by 71 million (-11.3%) to EU countries and by almost 33 million (-11.5%) to non-EU countries.
Within the EU, which accounts for almost 70% of the sector’s total sales, despite increases or substantial holdings compared to the first nine months of 2020, there was an average decrease over
the previous two years of -11.3%. The main contractions concerned Germany (-7.3%; -8.5 million), Spain (-15.9%; -15.3 million), Greece (-33.2%; -15.1 million) and Portugal (-29.7%; -9.6 million).
Among non-EU countries, the decrease in exports to the two main reference markets for the sector continued: the United Kingdom (-7.0% over the two-year period; -€3.8 million) and Russia (-23.6%;
-€7.7 million), in addition to Japan (-31.1%; -€3.3 million). Among the main growing countries, both on an annual basis and over the two-year period, we find South Korea (+65.4% over the two-year
period; +5.3 million) and Serbia (+31.3% over the two-year period; +2 million).
Footwear exports also rebounded on an annual basis in double figures (+13.8%), but this was not enough to close the gap on 2019, which remains at -4.2% and concerns both EU 27 markets
(-3.7%; -23 million) – which absorb 73.5% of sales – and non-EU markets (-5.3%; -12 million). Sales to the two main intra-EU partners, Germany and France, grew on a double-digit annual basis,
bringing the German market back to the levels of the first nine months of 2019 (+0.3%), the French market just below (-2.5%; -3 million). The largest decline over the two-year period was recorded
against the Spanish market (-20.9%; -15.5 million) due to a weak annual rebound (+2.6%). Exports to the Polish market bucked the positive trend, with double-digit growth both compared to the
same period last year (+38.7%; +15 million) and to the same period before Covid (+50.7%; +18 million). Among non-EU markets, the year-on-year decrease in the United Kingdom (-15.8%; -8 million)
brought the contraction in the two-year period to -34.0% (-22 million). On a two-year basis, exports to the United States (+25.3%; +8.4 million) and Russia (+13.3%; +2.3 million) were positive.
Furniture
The furniture sector, second after machinery in terms of export values with €1,352 million, shows a rebound of +13.4% compared to the first nine months of 2020, but also manages to
exceed, albeit slightly, the levels of the same period in 2019 (+1.0%; +13.4 million). A breakdown by destination market shows, however, that the full recovery of pre-Covid levels is the result
solely of good performance in countries within the EU (+10.4%; +72.5 million), while non-EU markets only benefited from the annual rebound (+8.2%). Nevertheless, the decrease over the two-year
period was -9.3% (-59.1 million).
Although in a differentiated manner, growth within the Union, compared to the first nine months of 2019, is common to all the top ten trading partners with the exception of Belgium (-15%; -5.3
million). Compared to September 2019, sales to Germany (+11.3%; +22.3 million), Poland (+75.7%; +19.7 million) and France (+6.9%; +16.3 million) grew the most. Outside the EU, exports to the
United States grew (+3.5%; +5.5 million) although on an annual basis they contracted (-4.0%) while for the other main trading partners, export levels remain below the results achieved in the
first nine months of 2019, first and foremost for the United Kingdom (-11.7%; -17.5 million) despite registering a double-digit increase on an annual basis (+38.9%).
Home appliances
The sector shows strong double-digit growth both year-on-year and over the previous two years, in particular sales, totalling €1,070m, are up +30.8% (+252m) compared to the first nine
months of 2019. The increase compared to 30 September 2019 characterises both intra- and extra-EU countries: growth within the Union, which absorbed 62% of total sales, was +37.7% (+182 million)
and +21% (+70 million) outside the Union. Trade with the main intra-EU countries, in particular with Germany, the leading market (+138.2%; +110 million) and France (+61.5%; +32.7 million), is
also fuelled by flows towards the various production platforms that characterise the sector: It is more plausible to attribute to these flows the very strong growth of exports to Belgium
(+358.5%; +55 million), Romania (+66%; +15.9 million) and, to a lesser extent, to Poland (+5.4%; +3.5 million). There was also a significant increase in exports to Spain (+45.7%; +18.7 million).
Sales to the main non-EU partners also increased over the previous two years, with the exception of the United Kingdom, where exports, while rebounding over the previous year, did not reach
pre-Covid levels (-3.9%; -2.1 million). On the other hand, exports increased to Russia (+15.7%; +7.5 million), the leading non-EU market, as well as to the United States (+36.8%; +13.9 million)
and China-Hong Kong (+62.5%; +12.7 million).
Metal carpentry
The metal carpentry sector, which reached €639 million in exports in the first nine months of 2021, shows a rebound on the first half of 2020 (+24.8%), but is just below the levels
of the same period in 2019 (-0.3%; -1.9 million). The sector’s result was strongly affected by declining sales to intra-EU countries, which account for over 70% of total exports and which,
despite a double-digit rebound in 2020 (+25%), failed to exceed 2019 levels (-2.9%; -13.6 million). Sales to Romania (-29.8%; -22 million) and France (-10.7%; -9.1 million) fell over the two-year
period, while those to Germany, the leading intra-EU market, grew (+14.7%; +14.2 million). Compared to the previous two-year period, sales were better (+6.6%; +11.6 million) thanks to the
double-digit rebound in 2020, mainly due to the performance in the United States, the leading market outside the EU (+41.4%; +12.7 million).
Beverages
The export of beverages (€592 million) – which for the province of Treviso is attributable almost exclusively to the sale of wine and Prosecco in particular – grew year-on-year
(+17.6%) and also exceeded the results obtained in the first nine months of 2019 (+12.7%; +66.8 million). Sales were up over the two-year period both within the EU (+20%; +39.2 million)
and outside the EU (+8.4%; +27.6 million). Increases were recorded in almost all the main countries, while the most significant decrease was in the UK (-30.9%; -35 million), to which was added a
decrease in sales to Japan (-10.8%; -0.7 million).
Food products
The food sector, with almost 392 million in exports, even if it does not recover on an annual basis (-1.1%), exceeds, albeit slightly, the levels of the same period in 2019 (+0.8%;
+3.3 million). The lack of annual rebound emerges both with reference to EU markets (-0.2%) – with contractions in Germany and Austria – and with reference to non-EU markets (-3.4%), in
particular the UK (-29.7%; -6.5 million) in Russia (-42.9%; -1.7 million) as well as the US (-3.3%). This performance affects the recovery of sales to 2019 levels. The two-year change to non-EU
markets remained positive (+4.6%), thanks in particular to flows to China and Hong Kong (+93.5%; +3.5 million) and Japan (+206.9%: +3.1 million): in both cases, this increase was mainly due to
the sale of processed meat. Intra-EU sales, on the other hand, were just below stationary compared to the same period of the previous two years (-0.5%).
Rubber-plastic products
Exports of rubber-plastic products (€493 million) exceeded both the levels of the first nine months of 2020 (+21.8%) and 2019 (+12.8%; +56 million). The favourable trend
compared to the first nine months pre-Covid mainly involved sales to intra-EU countries (+14.8%; +47.5 million), which absorb almost 75% of total exports, but also those to non-EU countries
(+7.3%; +8.5 million). In the former, exports grew to all the main trade partners, while outside the EU, exports fell to the United Kingdom (-6.5%; -1 million), China and Hong Kong (-6.8%; -0.9
million) and Switzerland (-14.4%; -1.3 million), although sales to Israel (+1.8 million) and India (+1.2 million) almost doubled.
Transport equipment and components
Exports of transport equipment and components for the automotive sector (€387 million) rebounded by +24.7% compared to the first nine months of 2020, but failed to exceed the export
levels of 2019 (-1.6%; -6 million), despite the two-year increase in intra-EU markets (+1.1%, +3 million), which account for 70% of the total. Moreover, the dynamics between countries are highly
differentiated, the result of a supply chain whose value chain, as we know, is still very disjointed due to the pandemic and the microchip crisis. In the two-year period, the flows towards
Germany have almost stagnated (-0.3%), while those towards France have almost doubled (+22.7 million) and those towards Spain are also growing strongly (+32.1%; +8.7 million). On the other hand,
sales to some production clusters in Eastern Europe (Slovakia, Czech Republic) and to Sweden and Austria slowed down considerably. Sales to non-EU markets remain below the levels of the first
nine months of 2019 (-8%): decisive here is the drop in flows to the United Kingdom (-17.8%; -7.7 million) and the United States (-16.3%; -3.3 million), despite the year-on-year rebound, but
especially to Australia (-66.7%; -10.4 million).
Other electrical equipment
The other electrical equipment sector, despite a year-on-year rebound almost in line with the provincial average, was up on September 2019, more than the average value (+7.4%; +26.2
million). The growth, on a two-year basis, is mainly attributable to intra-Union countries (+11.3%; +25.4 million), considering that it stops just above stationary in the non-EU area (+0.6%; +0.8
million). While within the EU, the only market that declined among the main trading partners was Slovakia (-21.6%; -1.8 million), among non-EU countries, the biggest drop was in the United
Kingdom (-20.5%; -2.9 million). On the other hand, sales were up, especially to Poland (+41.7%; +7.7 million) and Slovenia (+79.4%; +4.3 million), while sales to countries outside the EU included
Russia, the United States, Switzerland and Qatar (the latter more than doubled).
Sectoral dynamics of Belluno exports
Exports from Belluno in the first nine months of 2021 amounted to €3.1 billion. Even for Belluno, there was a double-digit annual rebound (+36.3%), which allowed for a full recovery
of levels compared to the same period in 2019 (+1.0%; +31 million), not yet affected by the pandemic. From the distinction between destination areas of Belluno’s exports, however, the full
recovery of pre-Covid levels is only guaranteed within the European Union (+5.3%) while outside the EU sales are still 43 million short (-2.6%).
The average provincial result is largely influenced by eyewear, a sector that accounts for 69.5% of provincial exports in the first nine months of 2021 and which, in line with the overall figure,
sees a recovery in foreign sales of +44.9% (+670 million) on an annual basis, but still not enough to fully recover from last year’s slump: The two-year comparison shows a slight decrease of
-1.0%, which becomes -2.5% with reference to non-EU markets, mainly due to the sharp drop in sales to China and Hong Kong (-31%; -49 million), Brazil (-45.9%; -19.3 million) and, to a lesser
extent, the United Arab Emirates and Mexico. Within the EU, the top two markets for the sector, France and Germany, have already recovered export levels from the same period in 2019 (+1.2% and
+5.6% respectively) and sales in Sweden have more than doubled (+€19 million). Also for eyewear, as for the Treviso fashion system, the Spanish market is critical: -24.4% over the two-year period
(-35.4 million) despite the sustained rebound on an annual basis (+36.2%).
Net of eyewear, the sector analysis shows a rebound of +20.1% over the first nine months of 2020 and a clear overtaking of the results obtained in the same period of the previous two-year
period (+5.9%; +€53 million).
Machinery, the second largest export item with €353 million, grew both compared to last year (+19.1%) and to the first nine months of 2019 (+6.2%; +20.5 million). Significant recovery and
surpassing of pre-Covid export levels to intra-EU markets (+12.3% in the two-year period; +27.8 million) thanks to the first two outlet markets: France and Germany, which together achieved an
increase, compared to 2019, of over €32 million. Sales in non-EU countries have not yet recovered their pre-Covid levels (-6.8%; -€7 million), mainly due to the decline in the UK (-30.6%; -€6.3
million).
Rubber and plastic products, the third largest item in exports from Belluno (83 million euros), which in the same period of 2020 had grown by +7.5%, bucking the trend of the other
sectors, now contracted on an annual basis by -14.4%, with a drop in the two-year period of -8.0% (-7 million). The main reason for this is the negative trend towards countries outside the EU
(-17.4%; -7.8 million), in particular China and Hong Kong (-27.7%; -7 million). On the other hand, intra-EU sales fully recovered compared to the previous two-year period (+1.1%).
Sales of electronics and precision equipment products recovered and exceeded export levels in the first nine months of 2019 (+4.8%; +3.3 million), while for metallurgy, the significant
double-digit year-on-year rebound (+48.9%) brought sales back to pre-pandemic export levels (+0.8%).
The export levels of early 2019 were also exceeded for sales of metal carpentry (+2.1%), food products (+3.5%) and other electrical equipment (+10.4%).
Finally, the suffering of wood persists, both on an annual basis and looking at the two-year period: from 19.2 million sales in the first nine months of 2019, it goes to 5.2 million in the same
period this year (-72.9%).

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