Global Trade of Injection Moulding Machine


Injection Moulding Machinery Market Overview

Injection moulding machine is used to produce a variety of multi-dimensional and complex products with plastics and other raw materials. Plastics polymers are most commonly used raw material by injection moulding machines. In the plastics processing industry, injection molding machinery occupies the major share of the plastic molding market.

Global trade for injection moulding machine remains unstable in 2016 due to a number of factors. The major issues affecting the market were fluctuation in currency exchange rate of developing countries and political issues such as Brexit and US presidential elections. The pressure on the injection moulding machinery market was also felt because of slowing growth of China and some of the developing economies.

Overall the plastic injection molding machine market ended with the positive tone with recovery showing in the second half of 2016.  The growth in demand of plastic injection molding machinery was from automobile and packaging industry backed by positive growth trend from manufacturing industry in developed countries.


Trade Flow of Injection Moulding Machine

As seen in Fig 1, the export of the machine is increasing from past five years (2012 -2016) in terms of value. The export growth rate of injection molding processing machinery for the period was 3.5%. While the import of injection moulding machinery showed a fluctuating trend.

In 2016 the demand for importing injection machinery decreased to US$ 5.863bn from US$5.985bn. The import growth of injection machine was showed a negative trend in 2016 from 2015 and the growth rate was -2.03%. The demand for importing the machines declined in 2016 because of lackluster demand in China and other developing countries.

In 2016 the Chinese economic activity was slow and with falling commodity prices in developing countries along with fluctuating foreign exchange rate impacted the imported growth of plastic injection molding machine.

Top Countries Importing Injection Molding Machine

Injection Moulding Machine importing Countries

The import of IMM stood at US$5.864bn in 2016.  The import of injection machine decreased slightly from 2015 in which the value of import was US$5.985bn. The downfall in import was attributed to decrease in demand from China and other developing countries.

As seen from the Fig 2 the United States was the largest importer of injection machinery. It imported injection processing machine worth of US$858.9 mn. The second largest importer was China which imported molding machine worth of US$590.6mn followed by Mexico (US$573mn), Germany (US$292.8mn), Vietnam (US$283.2mn) and others.

United States is the largest importer of Injection Molding Machine globally in 2016 Click to Tweet

The United States was the biggest market for injection machinery which imported almost 45% more molding machine in terms of value than China which was the second largest importer. As per geographical segmentation among top 15 machine importers, Europe imported almost 47% of all machinery followed by Asia (40 %) and then the North American market (13%) in terms of value.
As per analysis the share of top 15 countries importing the machinery was 67% which rest of the countries occupied a share of 13%.


United States IMM Import & Comparative Advantage

The United States was the largest market for the imported molding machine. Being the largest market most of the leading injection machinery manufacturer exported machine to the United States. The leading exporter of plastic injection moulding machine to the United States was Japan in 2016. It exported injection machine worth of US$242.5 mn followed by Germany (US$186 mn), China (US$116.4), Austria ($US109.5 mn) and others. The growth in import of machine is primarily driven by demand in the automotive sector.

The United States is the leading country housing major automotive manufacturer across the globe. Due to trend shift is producing innovative and aesthetically improved products is increasing the demand for exterior and interior automotive products

Austria has the most advantage in exporting Injection Molding Machine to the US market Click to Tweet


Though the United States is the largest imported injection machinery market but is a very competitive market. So it is not always an attractive market for injection moulding machinery manufacturer from different countries to target the United States market.

Plastics Insight has analyzed for the comparative advantage of exporting injection moulding machine to the United States from the other trading partner countries. As shown above in graph, the higher the number value (in red color) of a country the easier it is for that country to export plastic injection molding machine to the United States with respect to other competing countries.

As seen the Austrian injection molding machinery exporters (25.89) has the most advantage in exporting followed by Japan (4.7). The other countries having the advantage are Germany (4.19), Switzerland (1.44) and Thailand (1.02). The comparative advantage number is derived from multiple factors such as trade flow between two trading partners, price by competing manufacturer, the proximity of the market etc.


Injection Molding Machine Market Diversification Opportunity

The United States is the largest market due to which it is the target of leading machinery manufacturer making it a competitive market. So as a market diversification strategy, the molding machinery companies should find an alternative market to target injection molding companies to grow their business.

As analyzed by Plastics Insight Fig. 4 shows 25 attractive alternative markets for injection machinery. These countries have shown a consistent growth rate in the import of injection molding machine from 2012 to 2016. The growth in demand for plastic injection molding was due to automotive and packaging industry has driven the market.

Kuwait is the fastest growing import market for injection molding machines Click to Tweet

Some of the market with high growth rate along with considerable import volume is Mauritius (US$ 10.3 mn) with a growth rate of 193% from 2012-16, Lithuania (US$ 10.4mn) with a growth rate of 56% from 2012-16, Qatar (US$ 10.1mn) with a growth rate of 41% from 2012-16, Kyrgyzstan (US$ 10 mn) with a growth rate of 39% from 2012-16 and others.

The market diversification of injection moulding machinery manufacturers should be based on competitiveness in these markets.


IMM Market Segmentation & Drivers


Injection moulding machinery market is segmented by raw material used in processing. Plastics molding occupies the major share of injection moulding machinery market. The demand for plastic injection molding is due to its increasing use in end-segment such as automobile, packaging and consumer goods.

Automobile occupies the major share of plastic molding. Through injection moulding process a vast range of automobile parts is produced such as bumpers, electrical housings, exterior body panels, dashboards etc.

As seen in Fig. 5 automotive sector consisting of passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles shows a consistent increase in production since 2012 to 2016. The number of units produced in 2012 was 84.2 million and in 2016 was 94.9 million globally.

The Asian Pacific region has the least car per 1000 people. So as economic conditions are improving in Asian region the demand for cars are also growing. The growth in the automobile sector and the lower production cost in the region are pushing the demand for plastic injection molding products. As per geographical segmentation, the demand for injection molding machine is highest in Asian Pacific region followed by European region.

As seen some of the developed countries are having more than 500 cars per thousand people. While most of the Asia region is having a very low penetration of cars per thousand. These markets are yet to realize its full potential which makes it attractive for automobile manufacturing companies.

Also, the Asian market is very price conscious and customer demands high mileage. This forces the manufacturer for light-weighting of the car for which plastics are chosen to replace metals parts. This has driven the demand for plastic molding and in future will grow as penetration rate increases.

Vehicles per 1000 people


 Plastics Moulding Machine Market Trends & Opportunities

Due to technological advancement, shortening product life cycle and pressure to increase probability is rapidly changing the trends of how new age injection molding machine should be manufactured. The ability to mold a variety of raw material through injection moulding process and increase the energy efficiency of the plastic injection machine has outpaced the traditional Chinese injection moulding machine. But the pricing of Chinese injection moulding machine is 20-30% cheaper than European and Japanese counterparts.

The demand for small injection molding machine, energy-efficient and automated with least manual intervention is growing globally. The focus is on producing plastic injection machine which can bring down production cost, reduce scrap, provide flexibility in production, has low maintenance, shorten production cycle time and is efficient in all sense.

The advancement in technology to mold different material through injection molding has led to the use of injection moulding machinery in various sectors such as healthcare, furniture, transport, aerospace & defense etc. With increasing technological capacity of machines the plastics industry exploring options in new fields such as electro-optical, solar cells, organic LED’s etc.


Challenges in Plastics Molding Machine Market

The injection moulding machinery market is highly competitive. It is not only highly capital intensive business but needs a technological advance machines. The manufacturer is striving to build a brand which known for consistency, efficiency, and ability to produce quality plastic molded products.

The plastics machinery industry is a high barrier to entry for new entrants as they need to produce technologically advance plastics machinery to compete with existing machinery manufacturers.


 Injection Molding Manufacturing Company’s Strategy

As the plastic injection moulding machine market is becoming more competitive there is pressure on injection machinery manufacturer to increase profit and gain market share. This has made the plastic molding machinery companies focus on product innovation with new market strategy. The major strategy shift seen is

  • Plastic injection moulding machine manufacturers are shifting the small injection molding machine to full electric models
  • Large tonnage injection machines are in more demand with two platen plastic injection moulding machine.
  • Further injection machinery companies are focusing on building their brand awareness and consistent after sales services.
  • Further companies are focusing on the value of consumables for injection moulding machines as they are driving the profits for the companies. As seen the consumption of consumable is one to four times the value of the plastic injection moulding machine during their entire shelf life.
  • Focusing on providing after-market services such as overhauling and technologically upgrading the injection machine to increase the shelf life.


Market Entry Strategy

Marketing of injection moulding machinery has always been a challenge. It requires a long sales cycle and has to pass through a number of channels involved in decision making before a final purchase decision is taken. Some of the common ways of entering the new export market are:

  • International Trade Shows: Taking part in trade fair gives a good exposure of your products to the buyers. Choosing the right trade show and strategizing the promotion of your company participation in trade show effect the ROI of the trade show.
  • Figuring out and contacting the current importers of injection moulding machinery increases your company chances to find new business opportunity. You can get importer database to find new leads and monitor your competitors. Plastics Insight tracks 50+ markets for the export-import data. You can contact us here.
  • Then keeping track of new injection molding plants or plants which are increasing the capacity of injection molding can provide a business opportunity. To monitor new plant set-up check out this database.
Market Promotional Activity of Injection Moulding Machinery Manufacturers - 2016

Arburg GmbH & Co. KG

December- 2016

Activity: Arburg conducted International Service Meeting


  • The meeting was for service specialists from the company’s worldwide subsidiaries along with international trading partners, providing an opportunity to network and exchange ideas.
  • At Arburg, they discussed latest market developments, important technical service-related issues and the current range of technologies.
  • Special focus was given to services of machinery as it is unique selling point for  Arburg to beat their competitors


Activity: International journalists visits Arburg manufacturing plant


  • A delegation of international journalists from Belgium, France, India, Latvia, Serbia and Spain visited Arburg
  • Tour offered journalists insight in production and how customers can use Injection Moulding Arburg to implement “Industry 4.0”


Activity: Arburg hosted turnkey technology event at the company headquarters


  • The company hosted Technology Day for 7,100 international guests. Out of which 41% were from outside Germany
  • They were introduced to new products, innovative technology, industry trends and complex turnkey solutions
  • The event ended with factory tours of Arburg.


Engel Austria GmbH

September- 2016

Activity: Engel launches e-connect customer portal


  • Engel machinery are displayed with current status online.
  • For spare parts, the customer can check prices online, their availability and order online.
  • With the help of predictive maintenance and mathematical models developed by Engel, customers can avoid machine breakdown. Engel has launched two components one for screws and the other for spindles.


Activity: Engel hosted exclusive Liquidmetal Forum


  • 200 guests attended the event including the plastic processor and metal processor
  • The attendees were presented with Engel’s new technology, molding machines, robots and system solutions


Guangdong Yizumi Precision Machinery Co., Ltd.


Activity: Yizumi develops Israel as its largest export market


  • Yizumi Precision Machinery strategies and maintained 30% growth rate in Israel injection machinery market despite the slowdown.
  • Yizumi Precision Machinery market entry strategy was based on finding right agent in the Israel market for entry mode.
  • Besides this, it launched two-platen injection machinery which was getting a very encouraging result from the market.


Activity: Yizumi Precision Machinery opens first flagship injection molding machinery store


  • Yizumi Precision Machinery launched one-stop shop for its molding machinery and auxiliary equipment.
  • The new shop would be used as selling center along with after-sales to provide better customer experience.


Haitian Plastics Machinery


Activity: Haitian develops innovative products as a sales mix strategy


  • To overcome external pressure Haitian worked on converting all small injection molding machine to all-electric model
  • It further converted large tonnage injection molding machinery to two platen injection machine.




Activity: Milacron launches e-store to cater to its customers


  • Milacron launches new e-store for access to spare part, components and systems round the clock.
  • The e-store will have mold configurator to provide the price for custom molds along with design.


Sumitomo (SHI) Demag


Activity: Sumitomo focused industry based strategy to gain new market


  • Sumitomo special focus on packaging sector made it won new clients for injection molding machinery.
  • The new account in packaging industry was specifically from manufacturers of screw caps, closures, and thin-wall parts.


UBE Machinery


Activity: UBE Machinery sets-up new sales & service office in Kentucky, US


  • The office will provide a base to increase UBE customers in the area
  • It will provide customer support for the after-sales activities.


Wittmann Battenfeld 


Activity: Wittmann Battenfeld signs a contract with agency to gain stronghold in Morocco market


  • Morocco sounds a potential export market for molding machinery from Wittmann Battenfeld
  • It signs a contract with an agency SMMARTINDUS to market its injection molding machines.