Plastics machinery production last year rose by a robust 16.8 percent compared with the pandemic-ravaged 2020, and plastics mold manufacturing grew by a solid 9.7 percent in 2021.
"While the outlook for 2022 remains positive, unresolved challenges in 2021 spilling over into 2022 will cause plastics industry growth to slow," PLASTICS projected in its latest quarterly outlook, published in December.
Even so, the latest federal data for March 2022 indicate that U.S. plastics product manufacturing and resin production were up 7.6 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively, from March last year, according to Pineda.
The U.S. plastics machinery market continues to see healthy demand while continuing to experience supply-chain bottlenecks, as well as high metal costs, due in part to Russian sanctions. Business investment spending on industrial machinery in the U.S. increased by 19 percent in the first quarter of 2022, compared with the same year-ago period, according to Pineda. However, low parts inventories are extending production times and slowing deliveries.