Deliveries of plastic injection molding and extrusion lines in North America decreased in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the last quarter of 2020. The decline followed three consecutive quarters of growth, according to statistics compiled by Plastics’ Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES). The industrial association (KUNSTSTOFF) was compiled and reported.
The reporting companies’ preliminary estimate of shipping value for the first quarter of this year was $ 334.9 million, down 11.1% from the previous quarter. Compared to the first quarter of 2020, however, sales of plastic machines rose by 31.9%, the third consecutive quarterly increase in deliveries of plastic machines compared to the previous year. According to PLASTICS chief economist Perc Pineda, PhD, more good news is in sight.
Association of the plastics industry
“Plastic machine shipments typically start slowly every first quarter, so it wasn’t surprising that the data was lower,” said Pineda. “This is in line with the usually slow macroeconomic activity that begins every first quarter. Compared to the previous year, deliveries of plastic machines actually got off to a good start. As the economy is in a recovery cycle, an increase in machine deliveries is expected this year. However, supply chain issues in the plastics end markets could slow growth in plastic equipment demand, so we will be monitoring market dynamics very closely over the coming months, ”added Pineda.
Deliveries of twin screw extruders are increasing
Although the value of injection molding machine deliveries decreased by 11.1% in the first quarter of 2021, it was 39.8% above the first quarter of 2020. Deliveries of single screw extruders decreased by 38.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, 28.9% % less than Q1 2020. Twin screw extruder shipments, however, increased 42.3% in Q1 2021 and increased 18.3% over the same period in 2020.
Machine suppliers are optimistic about market conditions
PLASTIC’s CES also conducts a quarterly survey of plastic machinery vendors asking about current market conditions and expectations for the future. In general, the outlook is very optimistic.
For the coming quarter, 89.5% of those surveyed expect conditions to improve or persist compared to the previous year, less than 96.0%, who felt similar in the previous quarter. For the next 12 months, 93.0% of those surveyed expect a steady to better market environment. That’s more than the 89.8% in the fourth quarter of 2020 survey.
Total plastics machinery exports rose 9.4% to $ 395.0 million in the first quarter of 2021 from the fourth quarter of 2020. Imports decreased by 3.5% to $ 845.0 million, resulting in a trade deficit of $ 450.0 million, which was 12.6% lower than the fourth quarter of 2020. Trade volume is expected this year as global economic conditions improve, the report concluded.