News

N. American plastics machinery shipments up in Q2, report says

Statistics compiled and reported by the Plastics Industry Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics says that plastics machinery shipments increased 8.2% in Q2 2019, following a 27.6% decrease in Q1.


Print this page

August 18, 2019 by Canadian Plastics

The shipments value of primary plastics machinery (injection molding and extrusion) shipments in North America increased in the second quarter of 2019, following a decrease in Q1, a new report says.

According to the statistics compiled and reported by the Plastics Industry Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES), plastics machinery shipments increased 8.2% in Q2 2019, following a 27.6% decrease in Q1. However, shipments remained sluggish from the second quarter of the previous year – 12.7% lower.

“The preliminary estimate of shipment value from reporting companies totalled US$295.3 million,” CES said. “Injection molding shipments rose 7.4% and single- and twin-extrusion equipment shipments increased 13.6% and 13.9%, respectively.” While the value of shipments for single-screw extruders and injection molding equipment increased 4.3% and 7.4%, respectively, for a year ago, twin-screw extruders were 29.5% lower, CES said.

“The second quarter numbers are encouraging, but machinery shipments remain comparatively lower than the previous quarters,” Perc Pineda, PhD, chief economist of the Washington, D.C.-based Plastics Industry Association, said in a statement. “What’s happening is not surprising judging from the macroeconomic environment. Real business investment spending in the second quarter fell 5.5%. In particular, the investment spending in industrial equipment flattened in the second quarter.”

The CES also conducts a quarterly survey of plastics machinery suppliers that asks about present market conditions and expectations for the future. In the coming quarter, 56% of respondents expect conditions to either improve or hold steady – lower than the 70% that felt similarly in the previous quarter. As for the next 12 months, 53% expect market conditions to be steady-to-better, down from 60% in the previous quarter’s survey.

On the international trade front, CES said, plastics machinery exports in the second quarter totalled US$378.8 million – a 4.3% increase from the previous quarter. Mexico, Canada and Germany remained the largest U.S. export markets. More than half (53%) of U.S. plastics machinery was exported to these three countries, CES said. While exports to China increased 11.4% in the second quarter, it was 37% lower than during the same period the previous year.

“In the short-term there are two outstanding issues that need to be resolved. Mexico has ratified the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), but the U.S. and Canada have yet to sign off on this critical North American trade pact,” Pineda said. “Both countries must ratify the USMCA. Unless that is resolved, the uncertainty from the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute will continue to run high and will negatively impact not only the plastics industry but the global economy.”