Moderate Decline Shown in Third Quarter by CES Machinery Data

The Plastics Industry Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES) says this was the first quarterly decline since third quarter 2015.

The Plastics Industry Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES) says this was the first quarterly decline since third quarter 2015.

 

According to the Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES) of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS, formerly SPI), North American shipments of plastics machinery registered a year-over-year decrease in third quarter 2016.

 

This represents the first quarterly slippage since third quarter 2015, and only the second instance of a quarterly drop since the 2010.

 

The CES’s preliminary estimate for shipments of primary plastics equipment—injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding, for reporting companies totaled $294.7 million in this year’s third quarter. This was 2.4% lower than the total of $302 million from third quarter 2015, and 6.6% less than the $315.3 million from second quarter 2016. Year-to-date, shipments of primary plastics equipment are still up 4.7% when compared with the first three quarters of 2015.

 

When the recent CES data are broken out by reporting sector, there is typically some variance in the quarterly growth rates, and the third quarter was no exception.

 

The shipment value of injection molding machinery decreased 6% in third quarter when compared with the total 2015 third quarter. The shipments value of single-screw extruders dropped 3.8% in third quarter compared to 2015 third quarter. The shipments value of twin-screw extruders jumped 27.6% in the third quarter compared with last year. The shipment values of blow molding machines was not disclosed for this quarter.

 

Meanwhile, auxiliary equipment bookings totaled $119.8 million in the third quarter, representing a rise of 0.7% over the total from 2015’s third quarter, but it was a decline of 3% when compared with the second quarter’s total.

 

According to CES, the moderate decline in the third quarter machinery data was still better than the performance posted in that quarter for the entire industrial machinery industry. Data compiled by the Census Bureau show the total value for new orders of U.S. industrial machinery dropped 8% in third quarter 2016 when compared with the total from 2015’s third quarter. This was followed by a 6.8% increase in the first half of this year.

 

It is interesting to note that the respondent to CES’s third quarter survey expect the medical and packaging end-markets to enjoy the best growth in demand in the coming year. An improvement is expected for the construction and appliances sectors. In contrast, automotive expectations slipped, yet expectations for all other end-markets call for steady-to-better demand to prevail in 2017.

 

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