TOKYO — Japanese companies built fewer injection molding machines and extruders in 1996, but blow molding machine production increased, according to the Japan Society of Industrial Machinery Manufacturers. The trade association said Japan manufactured 12,370 injection molding machines last year, down 0.5 percent from 1995. Production should grow to about 12,600 in 1997, and 12,900 in 1998. The output will be about evenly split between exports and the domestic market.
Production of extruders declined by nearly 8 percent. Blow molding machines increased by 20 percent, while injection stretch blow molding machines increased by 14 percent.
Export demand should remain steady in Southeast Asia, according to the Japanese association. Also, new markets such as Brazil and India will buy more Japanese-made machines.