North America machine sales rise in Q3 2022


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Sales of primary plastics machinery in North America rose in the third quarter of this year – in comparison with the same period in 2021.

The Plastics Industry Association estimated sales at US$354 million in the period, a rise of more than 6% compared to Q3 2021, but around 14% lower than Q2 of this year.

In Q3 of this year, single screw extruder sales rose by 5% compared to the previous quarter – but was 13% lower than Q2 2021.

Sales of twin- screw extruders grew by 12% compared to the previous quarter, and by 19% compared to Q3 2021.

For comparison, sales of injection moulding machinery fell by around 17% in comparison with the previous quarter.

“It can be argued that the slowdown in plastics machinery shipments in Q3 is in sync with the cooling of the US economy,” said Perc Pineda, chief economist at the association. “However, this year’s third-quarter shipments remain above the first three quarters’ shipments last year.”

There is also a year-end push for businesses to get their manufacturing capacity in gear for the coming year, he added.

“This should support stable demand for plastics equipment next year, albeit lower than this year because of moderating economic growth,” he said.

Machinery exports fell 10% to US$199m in Q3 2022, with Mexico and Canada remaining the top destinations. Exports to USMCA partners totaled US$110m – nearly 66% of total US plastics machinery exports. Imports decreased by 12% to US$424m in the period.

In the association’s earlier Q2 quarterly survey of suppliers – which assesses market conditions and future expectations – 35% of respondents expected market conditions to improve or remain steady in the next quarter. Over the next 12 months, an identical percentage expected conditions to be ‘steady-to better’.

“Historically, there is a bump up in shipments in the fourth quarter,” said Pineda. “It would not be surprising to see that shipments in Q4 are above those in Q3.”

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