Slowing economies around the world and the U.S.-China trade conflict pushed sales for Chinese plastics equipment maker Haitian International Holdings Ltd. down 15 percent in the first half of the year.
The Ningbo-based company, China's largest maker of injection molding machines, said in an Aug. 26 earnings report that sales dropped 14.8 percent to just a little more than 5 billion Chinese yuan ($700 million) in the six months ending June 30, down from almost 5.9 billion yuan ($825 million) in the first half of 2018.
"We remain cautious and less optimistic about the prospects of China and the global economy in the second half of 2019," Haitian said.
It's the biggest sign of softness, but not the only one, in earnings reports in China's plastics sector.
Other machinery makers and an export-oriented injection molding company also reported sales declines in midyear financial reports filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Haitian, which is also one of the world's largest makers of injection machines by sales, said it felt the drop the most in the domestic Chinese economy.
Sales within China fell 20 percent, to just over 3.3 billion yuan ($460 million), while exports only fell by 2 percent, to 1.5 billion yuan ($210 million).
It pointed to slowing demand in the Chinese auto market and lower exports of things like household appliances as hurting investor confidence in manufacturing.
"With the increasing uncertainty of external demand due to the trade war, the purchasing managers' index for China's manufacturing sector in the first half of the year hovered around 50, indicating the decline in demand in China's market resulting from the lack of domestic consumption," Haitian said.