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6/16/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

N.A. Plastics Machinery Shipments On the Rise in Q1

Originally titled 'North American Plastics Machinery Shipments On the Rise in the First Quarter'
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Shipments of primary plastics equipment in the first quarter were up 13.5% from the year-ago quarter.

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Shipments of primary plastics equipment in the first quarter were up 13.5% from the year-ago quarter.

 

Shipments of injection molding, extrusion, and blow molding equipment totaled $330.5 million in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $291.2 million in the first quarter of 2015, according to SPI’s Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES). SPI noted that the increase marked the second straight quarter that North American shipments registered a year-over-year increase. This total, however, was 15.4% lower than the $390.6 million posted in the preceding quarter, the final quarter of 2015, which on a seasonal basis is typically quite strong.

 

Break Down By Process
So how did the data break down along processing technology lines? The performance of injection molding equipment was quite strong, jumping 25.2% on a year-over-year basis, while single-screw extruders decreased 17.4 percent over the same time period. The shipments value of twin-screw extruders, including co-rotating and counter-rotating machines, rose 6.8 percent, while the shipments value of blow molding machines fell 63.5 percent, year over year. Auxiliary equipment was on the rise, jumping 13.6 percent year over year and down only 5.2 percent, compared to the seasonally strong fourth quarter.

 

On a broader basis, the total value for new orders of industrial machinery rose 21.0 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the year-prior quarter, after rising 12.1 percent in the final quarter of 2015, according to data compiled by the Census Bureau.

 

Survey Optimism Also On the Rise
In the survey that accompanies the CES quarterly report, there was a small improvement in expectations, with 84 percent of respondents expecting market conditions to either hold steady or get better during the next 12 months.

 

On a geographic basis, North America is now expected to have the fastest market growth in the coming months, per the survey, but the outlook for Mexico is also strong. The sentiments for Asia, Europe, and Latin America also improved in the first quarter when compared with previous quarters, though they remain well below the levels expected for North America and Mexico.

 

As for the major end-markets, respondents to the first-quarter survey expect that medical, autos, and packaging will enjoy the strongest growth in demand, with expectations for all other end-markets expected to be steady-to-better in 2016.  

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