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U.S. moldmaking industry records $1.1 billion trade deficit in 2014, per SPI report

SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association (Washington, DC) has released its 2015 Global Business Trends report covering all segments of the plastics processing industry, including resins, machinery, plastic products trends and more. For the mold manufacturing industry, the data presented by SPI shows the U.S. trade balance with countries that generated the largest surpluses and deficits in 2014.

The U.S. moldmaking industry had a $1.1 billion trade deficit in 2014, which was 4.5% more than the $1 billion deficit in 2013, said the SPI report. Because plastic molds are such a small trade category, the data are presented in the report at the 10-digit level of detail. Mold exports fell 10.1% in 2014, while imports fell 0.8%. Injection molds account for a significant portion of imported and exported molds.

The U.S. moldmaking industry had its largest surplus with Mexico at $283 million, "by far the most important," but that decreased from the previous year, noted the SPI report. The largest deficit was with Canada, at $576 million in 2014, which reveals the "volatility and recent drop of the U.S. molds trade balance." Exports of molds were 18.3% of domestic shipments, and imports were 55.1%.

"These sizeable percentages illustrate the impact of globalization on these segments—both processing machinery and molds—significant export activity and a high reliance on imported plastics machinery," said the SPI report. "Moreover, many producers in these segments move molds and machines between subsidiaries in the U.S. and overseas markets. These intra-company transfers likely boost export and import figures."

Apparent consumption of molds for plastics rose 4.9%, from $3.8 billion in 2013 to $4 billion in 2014. U.S. moldmakers held a 59.7% market share (percent of apparent consumption) in 2014, up from 57.4% in 2013.

Read the full report here.

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