The situation for the Italian industry is becoming more and more critical: the crazy prices of gas in fact, they risk sending many companies out of the market. I am suffering in particular the energy-intensive companiessuch as the manufacturers of glass And ceramic. But also the sector food. Sectors that represent an important slice of the productive fabric of theEmilia Romagna. “The situation is very serious: since the end of June the values of gas and electricity have almost tripled. In the first half of 2022 we spent on the energy bill 47 million euros more compared to the same period last year. If this trend continues, in the second half of the year we will be at an additional 100 million euros. In total, it is almost 150 million euros more than in 2021when the cost of the bill was 40 million ”explains a ilfattoquotidiano.it Vincenzo Di Giuseppantoniomanaging director of Bormioli Roccoa leading company in the sector of glass based in Fidenza, in the province of Parma.
The data well photograph the reality of a sector that is struggling with an energy crisis that has been dragging on for months now. In fact, as early as the autumn of 2021, energy prices had begun to increase, also infecting the raw material and secondary ones. A palletfor example, which cost an average of 8 euros last year, now costs 25. The price increases incurred by companies have already translated into requests for layoffs. The latest figures from INPS speak for themselves: between January and July the Cigs grew 45.65% compared to the same period of 2021, mainly affecting industry (+ 35.8%), construction (+ 34.9%) and commerce (+ 103.6%). An acceleration was recorded in June, when, over May, the Cigs increased by 49.8%. And the prospects for workers are certainly not positive. “We already have turned off an oven at the end of July and we will not start again until there are normal price conditions ”, continues Di Giuseppantonio. “For now we are doing dispose of vacation to employees but if this continues we will have to close other ovens: certainly in September and October there will be staff on layoffs“.
The problem is that companies are struggling to offload the energy price increases: the market is no longer able to absorb further increases. “We should increase prices by around 70% to cover the higher costs, but no one would accept it ”, continues the CEO of Bormioli. “Not to mention that there is a theme of competitiveness both with respect to European companies and extra Europeans, which enjoy energy prices lower than ours. Some countries have introduced important concessions that we do not have. For example, we have a factory in Spain that, thanks to ceiling on the price of gas, it supplies itself at much lower prices than ours ”. Not only. There are numerous businesses that they are unable to renew contracts that are now expiring: suppliers are unable to guarantee the high quantities that energy-intensive companies need. For this, according to the manager of Bormioli, the government must do more. “The interventions launched so far, such as the tax credit at 25%, they could be of help until the end of June, but not anymore. The only solution at this time would be to introduce a price ceiling of gas. In the absence of interventions, both at European and national level, we will have an autumn of strong social tensions ”.
A measure, that of the price cap, also invoked by the president of Confindustria CeramicaJohn Savorani: “The price must be controlled”. However if the March norm on the gas releasewhich plans to allocate the largest volumes of methane extracted in Italy to energy-intensive companies, at prices close to the cost of production, goes in the right direction, the industries in the sector are also demanding ” emergencies“, To be adopted immediately. “Businesses are going bleeding financially to pay the bills ”Savorani underlines,“ one is absolutely necessary mortgage moratorium, so that companies can breathe until Christmas. If we do not act immediately, the next government risks finding itself one graveyard of companies “. Even the 25% tax credit in favor of energy-intensive companies no longer appears sufficient in the light of current prices. “Today we have an incidence of energy on the tile which exceeds the selling price in certain countries”, Continues the entrepreneur,“ with these prices production stops. The social consequences they will be huge. There are already many requests for layoffs and in my opinion they will increase dramatically during this week: all this is inevitable ”. The request is that the tax credit be strengthened, bringing it to 50%: “It is the only way to have an acceptable price that allows companies to continue producing”. But the situation is so serious that many companies, crushed by the explosion in energy prices last month, after the closures for holidays in August they have not yet rekindled the ovens. “We are postponing from week to week waiting for the government to make a decision.”
Another problem that afflicts the sector concerns the difficulties to update the price lists, which are usually changed every three months. Indeed, the volatility of energy prices does not allow for planning. Not even in the short term. “It is the most serious thing that is happening to us: how do we manage in these conditions to guarantee a stable price to our customers? We have to decide what to do. Starting with how to manage to deliver the orders we have in our portfolio, why we sold thinking we had gas at 100, and not at 300 euros like now ”, adds Savorani. In addition, for the ceramics sector that exports about 85% of production, the crisis is likely to cause lose the market shares gained in the last decades.
But the increases have not spared the food sector either. “We estimate an increase in the gas bill of about 400-500% compared to last year, if compared to 2020 we are talking about 1200-1300%”, he explained in recent days Francesco Mutti, CEO of Mutti spa, a canning company based in the province of Parma. Interviewed byAdnKronos, the entrepreneur talked about the difficulties of a sector that concentrates production during the summer months: the campaign for the collection of tomatoesin fact, it starts on July 20 and ends on September 20. Just when energy prices exploded. “The Ukrainian crisis and the gas price boom are not sustainable by a supply chain that sees 100% of its own transformation concentrated in the two key months in terms of cost growth “. Also because on the 2022 campaign a year of increases, not only energy ones, began in the autumn of 2021. “It will be a bloodbath” adds Mutti, “I believe that many of the companies in the sector risk not making it forward. “. Of course, a company like Mutti, with revenues estimated at 550 million euros for this year and which exports 50% of its production, is able to withstand the storm. Not the same, however, can be said of many other companies, smaller and more fragile, which instead risk closing. For this reason, the entrepreneur believes that “an ad hoc intervention” for the sector is indispensable. Immediate measures necessary to “rebalance unsustainable energy costs for a sector that has a very short industrial route, 60 days, and which is deeply affected by these increases”.