Extrusion | 2 MINUTE READ

North American Plastics Machinery Business Rises in Second Quarter

Second quarter 2016 shipments were up year over year but down on a quarterly basis for the second straight month.


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Reporting companies from SPI: the Plastics Industry Trade Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics shipped $312.1 million worth of primary plastics equipment in the second quarter, up 2% from the second quarter of 2015 but down 5.6% from the $330.5 million delivered in the first three months of 2016.

Over the first half of 2016, however, shipments of primary plastics equipment are up 7.6% compared to the first two quarters of 2015. On the processor side, Plastics Technology’s Processor Business Index showed that plants with 50-99 employees expanded for the eighth straight month in July.

Breakdown By Segment
Injection Molding Machinery: The value of injection molding machinery shipped in the second quarter was up 7.3% compared to the year-ago period.

Extrusion Machinery: Single-screw extruders shipment value jumped 12.4% for the second quarter of 2016 compared to Q2 of 2015. Twin-screw extruders shipments value, meanwhile, plunged 35.6% in the most recent quarter compared to last year.  

Blow Molding Machinery: Blow molding machines shipments value also fell, dropping 17.3% in Q2 when compared with Q2 of 2015.

Auxiliary Equipment: New bookings for reporting companies rose 1.4 percent on a year-over year basis to $123.8 million and 3% compared to the first quarter of 2016.

The Broader View
Industrial equipment investment rose 2.4% on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate in the second quarter of 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That growth comes on the heels of a 3.3% expansion in the first quarter. New orders of industrial machinery, however, retracted by 1% in terms of value in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015, according to Census Bureau data. That small contraction followed a 15.8% jump in the first quarter of this year.

More Pessimism Going Forward
The CES also conducts a quarterly survey of plastics machinery suppliers to gauge their outlook going forward, and in the second quarter it found that 77% percent of respondents expected market conditions to either hold steady or get better over the next 12 months. This is down from 84% in the previous quarter.

In terms of global outlook, Europe has the strongest expectations for improvement in the coming year, while Mexico and North America are expected to be steady-to-better. The outlooks for Asia and broader Latin America are less optimistic than they were last quarter, but the majority still expects that conditions will hold mostly steady.

In terms of end markets, medical and packaging are expected to enjoy the strongest growth in demand for plastics products and equipment in the coming year, while the expectations for the automotive market are mixed (read more about where the automotive market currently stands in Plastics Technology’s Automotive Market Watch, September 2016). Expectations for all other end-markets call for steady-to-better demand to prevail in 2016.