Following a year of mixed fortunes and reduced sales, PU machinery makers are approaching 2013 with caution as they look to new markets for growth
By Simon Robinson, Editor
The polyurethane machinery industry had a mixed year in 2012 with sales down on 2011, and this is feeding into company’s plans for 2013, according to respondents to a Urethanes Technology International survey.
Business confidence has been ebbing away from a high point in 2011 UTI analysis shows, and is now approaching 2009 numbers. As 2013 gets underway polyurethane processing machinery companies are fighting hard to retain margin for investment, and to win orders for cash flow against a backdrop of slowing markets.
Data submitted by respondents show how the average number of orders by end-use sector in 2012 was down on 2011, with the exception of cutting and shaping machinery (see Chart 1) and also QS Group SpA of Cerreto d’Esi, Italy, reported a good year for RIM (reaction injection moulding) machinery. Download all of the data here.
The geographic areas that companies are selling into have changed dramatically between the 2011 and 2012 surveys, according to respondents, as tough economic policies and uncertainty bite in developed trading blocs.
In 2011, Western Europe accounted for an average of 39.15% of machinery sales; in 2012 this had fallen to 16.75%. Looking at sales as a percentage of companies’ business, sales to Central/Eastern Europe also fell…