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.