The recession of 2008/2009 turned a lot of markets on their heads, among them the one in used plastics processing machinery. Now, though, says this experienced dealer, the market's dynamics have returned to normal, and demand from processors in some markets, among them Latin America, are red hot. High-end machine brands continue to hold their value.
We reported recently on the new sales office that MachinePoint opened in Turkey. The used machinery dealer, headquartered in Spain, took life in 1999 as a pure Internet-based business but now has offices in North Africa, India, Russia, France and Poland, plus its HQ and the new location in Istanbul.
We asked MachinePoint's executive staff to comment on the changes they have seen in their business and in the market.
MPW: Are there any types of machinery that are selling especially well---film extrusion lines, injection molding machines, blowing molding equipment, auxiliary machinery such as dryers/ etc.?
MachinePoint: We specialize in international machinery trading, with the used machinery old from a user in one country to one in a different country; we handle also the assembling and commissioning. Companies for whom machinery is a competitive advantage make cross-border sales such as these; they would rather sell their used machines outside their competition zone. Traditional machinery dealers that buy and store small machines handle local machinery trading.
Only top-brand machines and certain machine types retain the necessary residual value to make them interesting for international trading, where costs include transport, legal, assembling and dismantling costs. Demand varies very much from country to country, with the presence of local technical services and an OEM's presence significant factors influencing demand for used machinery in local markets. In general we can say that there is high demand for good brands and machines that are not too old, even if this means that they are more expensive.
Each (machine) subsector it has its particularities. For example for printing machines, CI flexo printing presses for 8 colors are in highest demand. For blowmolding we have noticed that ones for processing of 5 -10 liter bottles and canisters are more marketable.
MPW: Are there brands of used machinery that sell faster than others? For example, does a Husky or Netstal machine sell more quickly than a different brand of injection molding machine?
MachinePoint: Certainly, top brands sell best. In the beverage packaging sector, MachinePoint trades preform, caps and closure systems; blowmolding machines; filling lines for water, CSD and non-carbonated drinks; and carton packaging lines for juices and dairy products. Husky is the preferred for preform machines and molds. Netstal is considered second.
Second only to Husky in used injection molding machinery is the PET-LINE production system from Netstal. The leading brands (by demand) in used blow- and stretch blowmolding equipment are Sidel, Krones, SIPA, SIDE, Nissei and Aoki - with local variations. Nissei ASB's injection blowmolding machines are popular in India.
For film processors, preferred brands when buying used are Alpine, Reinfenhäuser, Windmöller & Hölscher, Comexi, Uteco, and for blowmolding Battenfeld, Kautex and Bekum.
MachinePoint is also able to offer financing through its finance division, which operates as a separate company. The option of getting better financing for some brands rather than others also influences the used machinery demand.
MPW: How has MachinePoint's business grown through the years?
MachinePoint: We experienced a growth of 20% /year in the last decade.
MPW: How did the recession of 2008/2009 affect used machine sales?
MachinePoint: The recession did affect the used machinery trading. On one side the demand for used machinery doubled, and at the same time the offer for used machinery shrank. We would have thought that with many companies going bankrupt the offer for used machinery would have been good, but the truth was the opposite. On one side there were not many companies going bankrupt but rather being in 'investment standby', trying to hold on with a minimum of expenses. This meant they were not investing in new machinery, but they also were not selling their used machinery.
At the same time a lot of OEMs launched aggressive price strategies on their new machines, reducing in some cases their new machinery prices up to 30-40%. Also, some OEMs entered the used machinery market to generate cash to be able to maintain their structure during the slowdown in new machinery sales.
This automatically affected the priced in the used machinery market, where buyers expected prices to decrease as well - comparing them with the new machinery prices and also under the wrong perception that a lot of good deals might be entering the market. Also, lack of financing affected buyers' ability to buy used machines.
At the same time used machinery sellers were not very willing to reduce their used machinery prices as their accountancy books still held high values for them, in some cases even more expensive that what OEMs where selling them for new last year. This also made our business difficult during the 2008/2009 crisis, contrary to what many people might expect (for used machinery sales) during a recession.
This situation has started to change from mid-2010 with the activity in the market back to normal in Europe. Other areas like Latin America have been extremely active even since mid-2009.
MPW: Does MachinePoint have any alliances with used machine dealers in the Americas or in Asia?
MachinePoint: In Asia we have a MachinePoint office in India to attend the market directly; the same is true in North Africa and more recently in Turkey. In Latin America we plan to do the same in the near future.
We also collaborate with other dealers and OEMs, and yes, with some of them have strategic alliances to cover certain market niches or geographical areas.