USMTO and CTMR, June 2023: The US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) programme tracks orders in the US market, based on the reports from participants. Machine tool orders in the 1st half of 2023 were -12.7% below the level in the same months of last year (January to June 2022). The 12-month rolling total – effectively an annualised rate – is now -16.7 lower than in the previous period (the 12 months to June 2022).
This continues the downward trend in the US market that has been running for just over a year with the 12-month rolling total having peaked in April 2022, although the overall levels remain relatively high by historic standards. The AMT press release notes that orders from job shops were below the overall market trend in June; these tend to be smaller businesses for whom the economic uncertainty in the US, coupled with rising interest rates, is limiting the appetite for investment.
The brightest part of the market in June was automotive transmission manufacturers which, in the context of rising electrification of vehicles, is perhaps surprising. The press release notes that this reflects a prolonging of the transition from internal combustion to electricity in vehicles in the face of problems in sourcing materials and in grid capacity.
The regional breakdown of the data suggests two groups of regions. The first set where order intake is broadly similar to the first half of 2022 consists of the South-Central (no change), North-Central-East (-1%) and the North-East (-2½%) areas; the second group, consisting of the North-Central-West (-10%), the South-East (-26%) and the Western (-34%) regions, is where the most significant reductions are to be found.
The US Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR) tracks orders for tooling on a similar basis. This part of the US market is on a different cycle to the machinery business with the June total being the 2nd highest (behind the seasonally affected March figure) since May 2019. The cumulative total for the first half of the year is +17.4% higher than last year (January to June 2022) and the rolling 12-month total is up by +15.6%.
However, despite these positive trends, the market is not yet back to the levels we saw through most of 2019 (the pre-pandemic peak). The press release on the survey results suggests that demand is being driven by the transportation (automotive and aerospace) and defense (sic) sectors.
You can download the press releases for the two surveys from the AMT web-site at https://www.amtonline.org/topic/intelligence, with the CTMR release also published on the USCTI web-site at www.uscti.com (go to the News Releases tab); alternatively, you can request either or both releases from MTA and we can make sure you get them when they are published each month. We have attached a set of charts tracking the rolling 12-month totals from these two surveys which you can download below.
Japanese Metal Cutting Machine Tools Orders, 2nd Quarter 2023: The Japan Machine Tool Builders Association (JMTBA) also publish monthly orders data although, in this case, it is for manufacturers rather than the market and they only cover metal cutting machine tools (there is a separate association in Japan for manufacturers of metal forming machines).
Total orders in the 2nd quarter were -5.1% lower than in the 1st period of the year and -19.2% down on a year ago (Q2-22). The home market was weaker than exports but both parts of the market saw similar trends – domestic demand fell by -8.6% compared to the previous quarter and by -25.4% on a year earlier; exports fell by -3.3% and -15.9% respectively.
The JMTBA report gives a breakdown of the domestic orders by industry – the largest category in terms of the value of orders is industrial machinery where orders in the 2nd quarter were virtually the same as the previous quarter but -16% down on a year earlier; two major sub-industries of this group are construction machinery and dies & moulds with both of these recording a quarter-on-quarter increase in orders (+31% and +2% respectively), although they were still lower than a year ago.
The only industries where orders were higher than a year earlier were aircraft (+80%) and government, public agencies & schools (+54%) but both of these are relatively small – the latter category has by far the lowest order value in the analysis, despite the strong growth.
Analysis of export orders in the first half of this year shows a fall of -13.5% compared to the same period last year (January to June 2023). Orders from Europe actually increased slightly (+1%) thanks mainly to Switzerland (+59%) and Turkey (+119%), with orders from the UK falling by -16%. Incoming business from the USA was -15% lower than in the first half of 2022, with the rest of Asia seeing a decline of -5% – only India (+36%) bucked the downward trend for that region.
You can access the JMTBA report at https://www.jmtba.or.jp/english/category/machine-tool-orders/ (July 27, 2023) or we can send you the summary of the data – contact Geoff Noon at MTA (email: [email protected]) if you want this analysis. A chart showing the 12-month rolling totals is available to download below.