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Plastics Machinery Shipments down in Q2
September 08, 2021

North America primary plastics machinery (injection molding and extrusion) shipments decreased for the second consecutive quarter, according to data from the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES). The decline comes as new orders for plastics equipment have been increasing, while ongoing supply chain issues and a shortage of parts and components have been causing longer order-to-delivery timelines, according to PLASTICS Chief Economist Dr. Perc Pineda.

"For the third consecutive quarter, plastics equipment shipments were higher from a year earlier," Pineda said. "This means that the underlying trend in plastics equipment demand remains upward sloping

The preliminary estimate of shipment value from reporting companies totaled $320.9 million in Q2 2021, a 4.2% decline from Q1 2021, which had fallen 11.1%.

Compared to Q2 2020, however, plastics machinery shipments rose by 21.2%.

- Injection Molding vs Extruders

The value of Injection Molding shipments fell by 4.9% in Q2 2021 and was 19.5% above Q2 2020.

The value of shipments of single-screw extruders increased by 33.1% in Q2 2021 but was 37.8% above Q2 2020.

Shipments of twin-screw extruders fell by 24.9% in Q2 2021 but were 32.3% above Q2 2020.

-Imports vs Exports

Plastics machinery total exports in Q2 2021 decreased by 6.9% to $367.6 million from Q1 2021.

Mexico and Canada remained the top export markets of plastics machinery from the US, and combined exports to USMCA partners in Q2 2021 totaled $177.2 million, which was 48.2% of total exports of plastics machinery.

Total Q2 2021 US plastics machinery as imports rose by 3.5% to $874.0 million resulting in a $506.8 million trade deficit, which was itself up by 12.6% in Q2 2021.

Market Sentiment remains optimistic based on PLASTIC's CES quarterly survey of plastics machinery suppliers, which saw a drop in respondents.

For its Q2 2021 survey, 92.7% of respondents expect market conditions to either improve or hold steady in the coming quarter

The organization said the volume of merchandise trade is expected to increase this year as global economic conditions improve, while the World Trade Organization expects to see an 8.4% increase in global merchandise trade this year.

Pineda added until the supply chain issues are resolved, and production lead times return to normal, expect to see fluctuations in quarterly shipments of plastics machinery.

"Nevertheless, the outlook for plastics machinery in the second half of the year is positive," said Pineda.

By Brian Balboa for The Plastics Exchange.

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