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Global demand for plastics processing machinery is expected to increase by 6.9 percent annually to reach $37.1 billion in 2017, according to Cleveland-based research group Freedonia Inc..
In a new study, it attributed this growth to a better sales climate, resulting from acceleration in fixed investment spending and growth in the production of plastic goods. The packaging market will remain the largest for plastics processing machinery, accounting for more than one-third of all 2017 sales. The next largest end-markets are consumer products and construction.
Injection molding equipment will continue to be the most significant type of processing machinery, accounting for nearly two-fifths of new sales in 2017, due to its versatility across a wide range of applications, said Freedonia.
But the group expects demand for 3D plastics printers to grow the fastest of any plastics processing equipment type from a relatively small current market base. Extrusion machinery sales will increase at the next fastest rate, supported by growth in world construction activity.
"China is by far the largest national equipment market, accounting for 29 percent of all 2012 sales, and it will continue to lead global demand in 2017. India will be the fastest-growing country, however, expanding 12 percent per year," said Freedonia.
On a regional basis, it said sales in Central and South America will climb the most rapidly, followed by the Africa/Mideast region.
Machinery producers in the Asia/Pacific region stand to gain from the fastest shipment rates for plastics processing machinery up to 2017, led by China, which will account for 59 percent of total regional output.