Primary plastic machinery shipments in North America grew by 4 percent in the second quarter but were down 10.7 percent compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary figures from the Plastics Industry Association’s (PLASTICS’) Committee on Equipment Statistics.
Shipments of injection molding machines and extruders totaled $263.4 million for the quarter. While injection molding machine shipments increased 11.4 percent from the first quarter, shipments of single- and twin-screw extruders dropped 35.8 percent and 30.1 percent, respectively.
“Although primary plastics machinery shipments are still lower than previous quarters, the second-quarter uptick is consistent with gradual improvement in the U.S. economy,” said Perc Pineda, the chief economist for the Washington, D.C., trade association.
The committee also surveyed plastics machinery suppliers about market expectations. Conditions will hold steady or improve in the third quarter, according to 40 percent of respondents, up from 18.5 percent of respondents in the first quarter survey. For the coming 12 months, 24 percent of respondents said they expect market conditions to hold steady or improve, compared to 22.6 percent who answered that way in the previous quarter.