Canadian Packaging

Weak U.S. Dollar Boosts Packaging Machinery Shipments


October 28, 2008
by Canadian Packaging Staff

A weak U.S. dollar helped U.S.-based packaging machine-builders post record export sales last year, according to the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), fueling the sixth consecutive year of growth in shipment for U.S.-made packaging equipment.

While the domestic shipments of the U.S.-made machinery grew only by 1.2 per cent from 2006, according to PMMI’s 2008 Shipments & Outlook Study, an 17.8-percent surge in exports helped overall shipments increase by 3.9 per cent to US$6.207 billion.

“The PMMI believes these sales numbers, in the face of a slow economic period, illustrate the strength of PMMI member-companies’ market position,” says PMMI president Charles Yuska, whose group comprises over 550 leading U.S. and Canadian-based manufacturers of packaging and packaging-related converting machinery, commercially-available packaging machinery components, containers and materials.

“With overall sales up and exports jumping, it’s clear that PMMI member companies were being considered, and ultimately chosen, for capital projects around the world.”

Notably, 2007 was the first time in five years during which growth in the shipments of Canadian-made packaging equipment (up 5.7 per cent from 2006) outpaced growth in the U.S. shipments—a remarkable performance in light of the considerable strengthening of the Canadian dollar against its U.S. counterpart last year, as well as the fact that the U.S. market accounts for the lion’s share of the Canadian-made packaging machinery shipments.

On both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, shipments of packaging equipment to end-users in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries accounted for about 70 per cent of total shipments, according to the PMMI.

“It’s slightly lower than in 2006,” says Yuska, “because the spending in the pharmaceutical and beverage markets slowed last year.”

In terms of machinery types, 15 of the 17 machinery categories tracked by the PMMI survey posted year-over-year increases, with capping/overcapping/lidding/sealing machinery (up 15.4 per cent) and assorted multipacking/coupon-placing machinery (up 14.7 per cent) leading the way.
Full copies of the 2008 Shipments & Outlook Study may be purchased for US$2,500 each (US$1,500 for PMMI members) by contacting Paula Feldman at 1-703-243-8555.