Global demand for plastics processing machinery is projected to rise 6% pa through 2015 to US$28.9 bln, a rebound from market declines experienced during the recession impacted 2005-2010 period. Sales growth will be driven by an acceleration in plastic product manufacturing, as well as by a favorable fixed investment environment worldwide. Many nations are building up their plastics manufacturing infrastructure, due to both rising domestic demand for plastics-consuming goods and export opportunities to developed nations. Plastics processing machinery production will grow the fastest in the Asia Pacific region through 2015, expanding 7.7% pa. Gains in developing nations will be the driving force behind advances in the global market for plastics processing equipment. China, for example, will account for over 40% of all additional global demand through 2015, with growth stimulated by strong increases in plastic manufacturing as industrialization efforts continue and income levels rise. Other nations in Asia with smaller, less-developed economies, such as India, Vietnam and Thailand, will also record healthy market gains. In developed areas of the world, most notably the US, Western Europe and Japan, demand will rebound after a period of decline, although sales advances will not be as strong as those in developing nations. Among major product types, extrusion equipment will post the strongest gains through 2015, benefiting from growth in global construction spending that will fuel demand for extruded goods like pipe and siding. Injection molding equipment will remain the largest product segment, accounting for 40% of demand in 2015. Injection molding machines are used in a wide array of applications, ranging from automotive components to consumer goods to medical supplies. The construction market will post the strongest gains through 2015, benefiting from an acceleration in global construction spending. The consumer/institutional products market will also post solid gains, reflecting rising standards of living. The packaging market will post respectable gains due to rising manufacturing output and consumer demand for packaged products. In addition, plastic will continue to gain market share from other materials in applications such as bottles.
2012 was a capital year for North American plastics capital equipment, with orders for injection molding machines, blown-film lines, auxiliary equipment, thermoforming equipment and hot runners all up compared to 2011. Even for single-screw extruders, where annual orders were down, albeit less than 2% (13 units), the full-year dollar value was up by 38% compared to 2011. The only market truly off in 2012 was the blow molding segment. There, the total number of new blow molding machines ordered in 2012 was 67 units, down 18 from 2011, with the full-year dollar value off 34%. All this data can be found in the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) Equipment Council's Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES). 3080 injection molding machines shipped in North America in 2012, with a value of US$846.9 mln. Q4-2012 injection molding machines orders totaled 844 units, up 13% compared to Q3-2012, and 15% higher than Q4-2011. The annual total for the number of injection molding machines ordered in 2012 was up 16% when compared to 2011, and the value of those machines was up 20%. The number of machines to be delivered in 2013 is forecast to grow 6-8%, according to analysis by Mountaintop Economics & Research Inc.'s (MER) Bill Wood. If that prediction holds, a total of at least 3500 new injection molding machines will be ordered in 2013, with the dollar value of those machines forecast to expand by 6%-8%. Additional data points, comparing Q4 2012 to Q4 2011:
There were a total of 933 extrusion shipments in 2012, valued at US$130.7 mln. New orders for single-screw extruders totaled 251 units in Q4-2012, up 27% compared to Q3 and 14% higher compared with Q4-2011. For the full year, twin-screw units were down 29% compared to 2011. There were 91 blow molding machines shipped in North America in 2012, excluding large units, with a value of US$82.8 mln, with dollar value down 34% compared with 2011, SPI said.