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06-12-2019

Report From the Plastics Industry Association’s Committee on Equipment Statistics

Decline of Plastics Machinery Shipments in First Quarter

First quarter data usually comes in soft, but this time weaker global economic conditions also play a role (© Plastics)

While 2018 ended with strong plastics machinery shipments, 2019 has started soft. The preliminary estimate of the shipments value from reporting companies totaled $273.0 million—27.6% lower than the fourth quarter of 2018. Injection molding shipments fell 26.3% and single- and twin-extrusion equipment shipments decreased 24.8% and 46.2%, respectively. Year over year, the value of shipments for single- and twin-screw extrusion equipment rose 19.8% and 8.3%, respectively.“ First quarter data usually comes in soft, but the declines reflect the expectation of weaker U.S. and global economic growth,” said Perc Pineda, PhD, chief economist of Plastics. “Price effects were also at play in the first quarter. The producer price index on industrial machinery manufacturing has been on a decline from its peak in the third quarter last year.”

Suppliers Show Cautious Optimism

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, 70% of the respondents expect conditions to either improve or hold steady. As for the next 12 months, 60% expect the market to be steady-to-better. While growth expectations for the industrial and packaging markets remained strong, a weaker global economic forecast, the unresolved U.S.-China trade issue, and the anxious anticipation surrounding the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by the three countries involved were reflected in the survey results.

Knock-on Effects Should Be Considered

On the international front, plastics machinery exports totaled $363.1 million, with Mexico and Canada remaining the largest U.S. export markets. Exports to Canada and Mexico in the first quarter were $77.7 million and $72.9 million, respectively. As previously projected by Plastics, plastics machinery exports fell short of $400 million - following the $416.5 million in exports in the fourth quarter last year. “Demand in the plastics industry is expected to remain positive against the backdrop of slower U.S. economic growth this year. However, plastics machinery makers should also consider that weaker global economic conditions will have knock-on effects on the industry,” Pineda added. (bf)

About Plastics Industry Association

The Plastics Industry Association (Plastics), formerly SPI, seated in Washington, DC, USA, is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing nearly one million workers in the $404 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, Plastics has been working to make its members and the industry more globally competitive while advancing recycling and sustainability.

Additional information
  • 12-18-2018

    Enzymes in the Plastics Industry

    Methodologies for the Washing Process of Recycled Materials

    Enzymes in the plastics sector can support sustainable processes. For example, in the synthesis of polymers, they help to avoid the use of metal catalysts. The research network Aimplas is conducting research on this and other projects.   more

  • 12-12-2018

    Obituary for Bill Carteaux

    CEO of Plastics Industry Association Succumbed to Cancer

    Bill Carteaux, the head of the Plastics Industry Association, died Dec. 10 after a fight with acute myeloid leukemia. He had led the association since 2005.   more

  • 02-05-2018

    Plastics Industry Legend Dies

    Jon M. Huntsman Passes away at Age 80

    Jon M. Huntsman, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Huntsman Corporation, passed away on February 2, 2018.   more

  • 01-31-2018

    Plastics Industry Association Publishes 2017 Size & Impact Report

    U.S. Plastics Industry Well Positioned for Continued Growth

    According to the 2017 Size & Impact Report, released by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), the U.S. plastics industry remains historically strong, and well positioned for continued growth.   more

  • 01-12-2018

    Turkish Plastics Industry the Leading Player in the Middle East

    Whilst Turkey has relatively little polymer manufacturing capabilities and is reliant on imports for most of its needs the overall picture for the industry is positive.   more

Company profile

Plastics Industry Association

1425 K St., NW, Suite 500
US 20005 WASHINGTON, DC
Tel.: +1 202 9745200
Fax: +1 202 2967005

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