A trio of plastics machinery reports contrasts the North American and global plastics machinery markets, with injection molding machinery forecast to remain the largest segment in global sales, reaching $8.6 billion by 2009. In North America, however, extrusion led the way in Q1 2007 with 46% growth, as injection molding shipments actually dropped 21% compared to 2006. The three reports—Plastics Processing Machinery: A Global Strategic Business Report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. (San Jose, CA); the First Quarter Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI; Washington, DC) Committee on Equipment Statistics report; and the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Assn. of the German Engineering Federations (VDMA) 2007 forecast—display the widening divergence between the global plastics machinery market and North America.
Global Industry Analysts forecast that the worldwide plastics machinery market will grow 3.8% annually on average and exceed $16.5 billion by 2009, led by Asia Pacific, which will ride 6% average growth rates to $5.9 billion by 2009. The report also pegs Russia, India, and Brazil as growth areas. Following injection molding, extrusion machinery is forecast to expand at a rate of 4.2% and top $3.4 billion by 2010.
SPI reported that U.S. manufacturers and importers of plastics machinery and equipment shipped $219 million worth of product in the first quarter, down 11% from the $245 million shipped in Q1 2006. As mentioned earlier, extrusion unit shipments were up 46% compared to a year ago, and 6% higher than Q4 2006.
SPI reports that 23 blowmolding machines shipped in the first quarter, the same number as in 2006, although the $15 million dollar value was up 50% compared to last year. Injection molding units were down 21% quarter-to-quarter and plastics components were down 11% over the same time period. SPI did report that capacity utilization and plastics part production remain high.
In June, the 185-member Plastics and Rubber Machinery Assn. of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), forecast that machinery output by the countrys plastic and rubber machinery manufacturers would be up 3-4% in 2007. VDMA reported that Germany accounted for 24.9% of the €19.6 billion of machinery output in 2006, which was up from €18.6 billion in 2005. China (13.7%), Italy (12.4%), the U.S. (9.3%), and Japan (8.8%), rounded out the top five producers of plastics and rubber machinery in 2006.
Germanys machinery output in 2006 was up 5.5% compared to 2005, reaching €4.9 billion. In spite of the emergence of China and North Americas struggles, the VDMA said that the U.S. remains Germanys most important export target, accounting for 12.2% of shipments, followed by China (8.9%), Russia (6.1%), France (4.8%), and Turkey (4.1%).[email protected]