Global demand for plastics processing machinery should grow nearly 5% a year for the next four years with sales in developing countries outpacing the US, Western Europe and Japan, according to Freedonia Group.
The US research firm said annual machinery demand will climb 4.7 percent, to reach nearly $25bn through 2012. That marks a slowdown from 7% global annual growth from 2002 to 2007.
Freedonia said the strongest sales will be in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, fueled by healthy economic growth, ongoing industrialisation and increasing per capital income in those areas.
China will post the largest gains of any one country. By 2012, China will account for close to a quarter of the total global market for plastics machinery, according to the study.
India and Russia also will record strong growth. Brazil will be more subdued, in part because of the double-digit increases that country has recorded in recent years.
Freedonia also expects gains in lower-volume markets such as the Czech Republic, Iran, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Vietnam.
Extruders will post the strongest gains of any type of plastics machinery through to 2012. They will benefit from growth in global construction spending, fueling demand for extruded goods such as pipe and siding.
Global demand also will grow rapidly for reaction injection molding machines, rotational molding machines and rapid prototyping equipment. Freedonia said injection molding machinery will remain the largest single segment, accounting for nearly 40% of the total plastics machinery market in 2012
Machine sales to rise for next four years