Plastics Machinery Shipments Slowed in the Second Quarter

(PLASTICS) announced today shipments of primary plastics machinery(injection molding and extrusion) in North America decreased for the secondconsecutive quarter according to the statistics compiled and reported byPLASTICS’ *Committee on Equipment Statistics

The preliminary estimate of shipment value from reporting companies totaled$320.9 million in Second Quarter 2021. It decreased by 4.2% following the11.1% decrease in First Quarter 2021. Compared to Second Quarter 2020,however, plastics machinery shipments rose by 21.2%. The value of shipmentsof single-screw extruders increased significantly by 33.1% from the FirstQuarter 2021, but twin-screw extruders and injection molding shipments fellby 24.9% and 4.9%, respectively. Compared to Second Quarter 2020, shipmentsof injection molding, single- and twin-screw extruders were 19.5%, 37.8%.and 32.3% higher, respectively.

While new orders of plastics equipment have been increasing, ongoingsupply chain issues–-shortage of parts and components––are causing longerorder-to-delivery timelines. This explains the decrease in shipments in thesecond quarter. For the third consecutive quarter, plastics equipmentshipments were higher from a year earlier. This means that the underlyingtrend in plastics equipment demand remains upward sloping – still in syncwith the robust economic recovery,”* *said Perc Pineda, PhD, ChiefEconomist of PLASTICS.

PLASTIC’s CES also conducts a quarterly survey of plastics machinerysuppliers that asks about present market conditions and expectations forthe future. In the Second Quarter 2021 survey, 92.7% of respondents expectmarket conditions to either improve or hold steady in the coming quarter –marginally lower than the 93.5% of respondents who expressed the same viewin First Quarter 2021’s survey. As for the next 12 months, 78.7% expectmarket conditions to be steady-to-better. This is lower than the 93.0% ofrespondents in the previous quarter’s survey who were expecting growth inthe next 12 months.

Second Quarter 2021 plastics machinery total exports decreased by 6.9% to$367.6 million from First Quarter 2021. Mexico and Canada remained the topexport markets of plastics machinery from the U.S. The combined exports toUSMCA partners in Second Quarter 2021 totaled $177.2 million, which was48.2% of total exports of plastics machinery. Imports rose by 3.5% to$874.0 million resulting in a $506.8 million trade deficit. The U.S.plastics machinery trade deficit increased by 12.6% in Second Quarter 2021.

The volume of merchandise trade is expected to increase this year as globaleconomic conditions improve. The World Trade Organization expects to see an8.4% increase in global merchandise trade this year.

Until the supply chain issues are resolved, and production lead timesreturn to normal, expect to see fluctuations in quarterly shipments ofplastics machinery. Nevertheless, the outlook for plastics machinery in thesecond half of the year is positive,”* *said Pineda.

About Plastics Industry Association

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is the only organization thatsupports the entire plastics supply chain, representing nearly one millionworkers in the $432 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, PLASTICS has beenworking to make its members and the industry more globally competitivewhile advancing recycling and sustainability. To learn more aboutPLASTICS’ education initiatives, industry-leading insights and events,networking opportunities and policy advocacy and the largest plastics tradeshow in the Americas

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