President Pozza in his speech at the Institutions’ Wishes communicated the foreign exchange data of Treviso and Belluno

Veneto exports see further slowdown, but positive and encouraging signs remain

Economy - published on 21 December 2023

Source: studies and statistics press office of the Treviso Chamber of Commerce - Belluno|Dolomiti

Belluno exports grow +10%, thanks to eyewear and machinery. For Treviso slight decrease in foreign sales (-1.3%): furniture down, positive balance for machinery.

Treviso, Dec. 18, 2023

President Mario Pozza’s comment

The dynamics of regional exports in the first nine months of 2023 experienced a further slowdown – comments Mario Pozza, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Treviso and Belluno|Dolomiti – but maintain the positive sign: +0.7% is the change compared to the same period in 2022 (it was +2.8% in the first half and +8.5% in the first quarter).

Positive and encouraging signs remain: foreign sales of machinery are increasing by double digits in both Treviso (+10.9%) and Belluno (+11.8%). This is a sign that companies, particularly in Europe, are continuing to renew their technological equipment in order to remain competitive in the markets. But the sector’s exports are also supported by emerging economies (Turkey, Mexico, India).

The positive balance of eyewear sector, contributes to the double-digit growth of exports from Belluno (which amounts to +10% on an annual basis) – continues Pozza.

Instead, for Treviso – the president continues – we observe a slight decrease in exports: equal to -1.3% compared to the first nine months of 2022. Here weighs the decline in consumer durables, and furniture in particular, the second item of provincial exports, which experiences a drop of -10.5% in the last year, but the comparison is with a previous three-year period of sustained growth, with particular reference to the European market.

In spite of the slowdown, the provisional balance on 2023 we can consider it holding. But it is a hold – Pozza concludes – that must be strengthened with business support activities, which the chamber system can offer, in the exploration of emerging markets and related business opportunities. Equally important is the support we can give with new technologies to enable companies to interact with markets and supply chain leaders projected into foreign markets. Indeed, we need to bring as many of our companies, including small ones, inside more up-to-date 4.0 business models.


The regional picture

Veneto’s exports amounted to over 61 billion euro in the first nine months of 2023, according to data recently released by ISTAT. The trend is slowing down, as expected: the year-on-year variation is in fact down to +0.7%, when it was +2.8% in the first six months, and +8.5% in the first quarter. Several factors were at play: a drop in orders, a comparison with a period of strong export growth, and a reversal of the trend in raw material and semi-finished product prices. Then we will also see, in the sectorial and territorial analysis, how this dynamic has important differences: Belluno benefits from the excellent performance of the eyewear industry (+12.5%); the machinery industry, at the regional level, manages to register a variation of +11% (again compared to the same period last year).

Veneto’s imports also fell in the period considered: by -9.8% in value, and -3.1% in quantity. This result incorporates not only the general slowdown in demand, but also a normalisation of global supply chains, with a consequent reduction in the pressure on material costs: just one year ago there was an important gap between purchases from abroad in value and purchases in quantity: regional imports, including energy, grew by +37.5% in value and +6.4% in quantity.


The trade interchange of the province of Treviso

In the first nine months of 2023 Treviso exports exceeded 12 billion Euros. The year-on-year dynamics of foreign sales sees the confirmation of trends already observed when releasing data for the first half of the year.

The comparison with January-September 2022 shows a variation with a slight negative sign (-1.3%), but a positive result remains if compared to the pre-covid period January-September 2019 (+18.9%).

The year-on-year dynamic of Treviso exports unites, in terms of sign and intensity, both sales destined for the European area and those outside the EU27: for both the variation is -1.3%. But different trajectories are observed within these two macro-areas. For the European Union, the negative sign is shared by almost all the main markets, in particular Germany, first trade partner of the Province of Treviso with almost 15% of the sales realised in the first nine months, which suffered a variation of -2.6%. Against this trend, the French market, second partner with more than 12% of the provincial export, which sees an increase in sales of +3.7% compared to January-September 2022. Non-EU 27 sales were particularly affected by the downturn in the North American market (for the United States, -5.5% and for Canada, -16.8%), the British market (-9.6%) and the Chinese market (-7.8%). On the other hand, the excellent performance towards Turkey (+46.1) and Mexico (+51.7%) continued.

Provincial imports amounted to almost EUR 6.9 billion, down by -8.9% compared to the same period in 2022. The decline, we say right away, incorporates a fairly generalised easing in the prices of raw materials and semi-finished goods: the latest figure recorded, however, is still clearly above the value of the corresponding pre-Covid period (+31.8% compared to the first 9 months of 2019).

From the analysis for supplying markets it is observed a reduction, in value, of the purchases coming from the extra EU 27 area (- 15.5%) and in particular from China (- 19.7%). The imports from the European Union, market from which it originates beyond 62% of the purchases of Treviso’s enterprises , record a negative variation pairs to the -4,3%, that reflects in particular the bending of the import from Germany (- 3.9%)Instead, the value of imports from Romania (+4.2%) and France (+6.6%) grew.


The interchange of the province of Treviso by sectors

The analysis of exports by sectors confirms the positive balance for investment goods: machinery sales, in particular, the first item of provincial exports, increased both on an annual basis (+10.9%) and compared to the first nine months of 2019 (+19.2%). It is a result that, as we had already seen in the last monitoring, confirms the need for companies to replace their technologies to remain competitive in the market. The increase of the export of machinery is diffused, even if with variable intensity, to the majority of the main markets of destination: the destined sales to the European Union grow of +7.7%, those destined to the markets extra Union of +15%. Within the European Union, exports to the first two target markets have remained strong, accounting for more than 20% of exports in the sector alone: the German market recorded a +2% year-on-year increase, The French market remains broadly stable compared to the first nine months of 2022. On the other hand, double-digit increases were recorded in Romania (+56.6%), Sweden (+35.2%) and Poland (+24.2%). For the non-EU area 27, direct machinery sales grew in Turkey (+43.7%) and Mexico (+147.3%), recovering exports to India (+72.3% compared to 2022, but still below pre-Covid levels, -47.8%).

The comparison with the first nine months of 2022 shows an increase in the value of exports also for metal carpentry (+9.7%), with particularly strong dynamics towards the German (+29.5%), French (+19.1%) and the United States (+23.5%).

Similar sign and intensity unite the sectors that make up the food sector: the variation on an annual basis is +3.9% for food products and +3.7% for beverages. In contrast, for the export of beverages, is in particular the US market that sees a decrease of -14.1% on an annual basis.

Exports of textiles and clothing in the EU are down -1.6%, with France showing a positive trend (+18.5%); exports to Russia (+48.8%) and Turkey (+43.6%) showing an average trend of +3.1%. Similar trajectories are evident for footwear: a drop in sales for EU markets (-3.4%), an increase of +8.3% for non-EU markets, including Russia (+69%, from 22 to 38 million euros), China (+32.1%), Norway (+12.8%) and South Korea (+21.9%).

Sales turn negative for:

  • the furniture sector, second voice of the provincial export, that know in the last year a bending of the -10,5%. Almost 62% of the sales is destined to the European Union, that it records a decrease of the -4,5% regarding January-September 2022. Within this area, exports to the German market are falling in particular (-12% on an annual basis, but the comparison is with a previous three years of strong expansion: the variation from January-September 2019 to January-September 2022 is +30.9%). Extra EU-27 sales were down by -18.8% in the last year, a contraction widespread among all major trading partners.
  • household appliances sector (third export item), for which there is a slight decrease of -1.8% compared to the first nine months of 2022. Sales for the non-EU area 27 (-5%) are down, with a substantial stability of the European Union market.
  • rubber-plastic products (-17.7%), a variation that is equally distributed between the area of the European Union and non-EU 27.
  • the means of transport and components (- 7.9%) on which weighs the bending of the sales intra European Union (- 13.2%) and in particular of those destined to Spain, but also towards other typically areas of production of the automotive row like Poland.

With regard to imports, annual percentage changes are more negative than average (-8.9%) especially for purchases of rubber or plastic products (-24.8%), chemicals and pharmaceuticals (-21.8%), metallurgical products (-20.4%)textile and clothing products (-10.7%) and machinery (-9.7%).


The commercial interchange of the province of Belluno

In early 2023 Belluno exports exceeded 4 billion euros, with an annual increase of +10%. As we know, the 2/3 of Belluno’s exports are determined by eyewear. In the same period the imports of the belluno enterprises have been of almost 873 million euros, in bending of the -8% regarding the first nine months 2022.

Overseas sales of eyewear amounted to over 3 billion euros in the first nine months, an increase of +12.5% on 2022 (+11.6% in the non-EU area where two thirds of exports are concentrated). The United States represents the first market for the field: the 30% of the total sales realized to the foreign countries is destined to this market, that it accuses a light bending of the -0,5%. An expansionary trend, with percentage changes significantly higher than the average, is observed in particular for direct exports to Turkey (+102.6%), China and Hong Kong (+37.6%), the United Arab Emirates (+28.6%) and Mexico (+23.6%). Within the EU, flows to Portugal (from 36 in 2022 to 43 million euros in 2023) and Poland (from 32 to 40 million euros) are increasing more. Positive results also for the first three European partners: France +14.8%, Germany +12.9%, France +3.7%, Spain +16.9%.

Net of the eyewear sector, the increase on annual base of Belluno’s area export has grown of +3.2%, result to which the sales of machinery in particular have contributed (+11.8%, distributed increase, in particular, among the main partners of the European Union with the exception of Spain) and electronics products and precision equipment (+1%, in particular, direct sales to France and Germany grew in the last year), chemical and pharmaceutical products (+23.6%, with fair distribution between the European Union area and the non-EU area 27). Compared to the first nine months of 2022, exports of textiles and clothing (-27.7%) and rubber or plastic products (-6.5%) decreased.

With reference to the supply markets of Belluno companies, the main trading partner remains China and Hong Kong, a market from which comes over 35% of provincial imports (especially eyewear) and which sees a decline on an annual basis of -20%. In contrast to the positive trend, the dynamics of purchases in particular from Croatia (15.7%), for the intra-Union markets, and, for the non-EU 27, from Brazil (+101.9%) and Vietnam (+30.9%).

Consult the data and tables 

by the Studies and Statistics Office of the Chamber of Commerce of Treviso – Belluno|Dolomiti

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