Global plastics processing machinery demand is expected to advance 6.9% annually through 2017 to $37.1 billion. A healthier sales climate, resulting from accelerations in fixed investment spending and growth in the production of plastic goods, will spur gains. Analyst Zoe Biller states, “Packaging will remain the largest single market for plastics processing machinery, accounting for more than one-third of all 2017 sales, followed in size by consumer/institutional products and construction.”

These and other trends are presented in World Plastics Processing Machinery, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc. (, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Injection molding equipment will continue to be the most popular product type, accounting for nearly two-fifths of 2017 new machinery sales due to its versatility across a wide range of applications. However, demand for 3D plastics printers is expected to grow the fastest of any plastics processing equipment type from a relatively small current market base. Extrusion machinery sales will climb at the next fastest rate, bolstered by an acceleration in world construction activity.

Developing regions will provide the best growth opportunities for suppliers of plastics processing equipment. Sales in Central and South America will climb the most rapidly, led by the large and fast-growing Brazilian market, followed by the Africa/Mideast region, led by Turkey. China is by far the largest national equipment market, accounting for 29% of all 2012 sales, and it will continue to lead global demand in 2017. India will be the fastest-growing country, however, expanding 12% per year.

The Asia/Pacific region will record the fastest plastics processing machinery shipment gains through 2017, led by China, which will account for 59% of total regional output. Not only will locally headquartered suppliers step up production, but many foreign multinationals will construct new or expand existing plants in Asia to reduce manufacturing and shipping costs and be closer to fast-growing customer bases there.