While 2018 ended with strong plastics machinery shipments in North America, 2019 has started soft, according to new figures from the Plastics Industry Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics.
After having been in place for almost a year, the tariffs – 25 per cent on imports of steel and 10 per cent on aluminum – will be removed by May 19.
In the first quarter 2019, the study said, mold shops experienced a slight utilization increase of 2% compared to Q4 2018 (77% to 79%), while die shop utilization dropped drastically from 85% to 74% in the same time frame.
Scotiabank also forecasts that auto sales in Canada will fall to 1.93 million units delivered in 2019.
Sales in Canada continued to decline in February, a new report by Scotiabank said, marking the twelfth year-on-year decline in a row off record February sales a year prior.
Auto sales in the U.S. fell for a second consecutive month, a new report from Scotiabank also said.
But only half of the moldmakers surveyed by the American Mold Builders Association believe business conditions in Q1 will increase, and only 10 per cent think their business will increase substantially over the next 12 months.
Excluding China, Scotiabank’s most recent Global Auto Report says, vehicle purchases fell by 3 per cent year-over-year worldwide.
Shipments of injection molding and extrusion machinery in North America increased in the fourth quarter 2018, according to the statistics compiled and reported by the Plastics Industry Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics.
The announcement is part of a 10-year plan for strengthening the auto sector’s competitiveness.
Clariant’s plastics & coatings division increased sales by one per cent, with particularly strong regional expansion in Latin America.
Vehicle purchases in the U.S. also dropped in January, a new report from Scotiabank said, as sales activity rebalances from strong gains in late-2018 and adverse weather conditions keep buyers at bay.
But despite posting a decline relative to 2017, the Canadian auto market posted its second best year on record, a new report from Scotiabank said.
Canada’s capital spending on industrial chemical industry projects is expected to jump by 65 per cent in 2019.
The auto parts maker anticipates that the strong U.S. dollar, the sale of its fluid pressure and controls business, and GM plant closures will negatively impact its bottom line this year.
The U.S. plastics industry accounted for an estimate of $432.3 billion in shipments and 989,000 jobs in 2017, according to the 2018 Size & Impact Report, an annual publication of the Plastics Industry Association.
But auto purchases in the U.S. recorded their highest one-month total since October 2017, the new report from Scotiabank said.
Vehicle purchases in Canada in November fell below 1.9 million annualised units for the first time since late-2016, Scotiabank said, but sales are still on track for their second-highest year on record in 2018.
The sales figures are compiled by the Plastics Industry Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics.