PwC: What was the Covid effect on marble and precious metals and stones

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The most attractive categories in 2020 were the extraction of marble at an Italian level, while at a global level was the extraction of precious and different stones

Covid effect on marble and precious metals: Which were the trends in 2020

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In 2020, the Metals & Mining sector recorded a 14% increase in the volume of M&A operations globally, balanced by a 2% decrease in value compared to 2019. That is despite some important operations in terms of value in the sector of aluminum in China, that closed after the start of the pandemic and in the steel sector in the USA, according to the latest edition of the PwC Deals global and italian M&A trends study, focused on the Metals & mining sector.

At the Italian level, the transactions led to an 81% increase in volume (compared to 2019) against a 51% decrease in the value of the transactions concluded. Looking at the type of investor, while at a global level the operations led by strategic investors continue to represent about 94% of those announced (substantially in line with 2019), in the Italian market the Private Equity funds have an increasing weight, exceeding 30% of the operations announced in 2020, confirming the interest of financial entities in the Italian Metal & Mining sector.

What was the Covid effect on marble and precious metals and stones: the ecological turning point in 2021

Furthermore, according to the PwC report, 2021 will be a year of ecological and sustainable change for the Metals & Mining industry. This trend will be accelerated by Covid-19 as governments, especially in Europe, will focus on the post-Covid-19 stimulus plans to sustainable development also in the unprocessed materials sector. Another important emerging trend is the continuous development of Industry 4.0, based on technologies such as IoT, big data and AI. With the advancement and progress of these technologies, companies will convert into intelligently managed enterprises and factories, bringing an indirect impact on the demand for steel due to the production of next generation goods and a direct impact on the steel production process.

Nicola Anzivino, Partner Deals, PwC Italia, explains: “An important aspect to take into consideration for 2021 will be the development of the prices of unprocessed materials. Prices already from the end of mid-2020 began to rise, quickly returning to pre-pandemic levels. In addition, in the specific steel sector, prices could suffer the further inflationary effect resulting from the readmission to import by China of the “Scrap Steel”.