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Machinery and Equipment

Cutting tool orders declined in May

Cutting tool orders dropped a little over 4% in May 2020 compared to the prior month and is down by over a third compared to the same time period in 2019 due to COVID-19.

By Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) July 20, 2020
The graph below includes the 12-month moving average for the durable goods shipments and cutting tool orders. These values are calculated by taking the average of the most recent 12 months and plotting them over time. Courtesy: Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT)

Cutting tool consumption in the U.S. totaled $136.6 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). This total was down 4.4% from April’s $142.9 million and down 36% when compared with the $213.4 million reported for May 2019. With a year-to-date total of $854.1 million, 2020 is down 18.8% when compared with May 2019.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals reported by the companies participating in the CTMR program. The totals here represent the majority of the U.S. market for cutting tools.

According to Brad Lawton, Chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group, “The cutting tool industry is doing its best to survive the effects of the forced pandemic recession, that is resulting in a significant decline in shipments.” Lawton added, “The questions are, when will we see recovery, in the third quarter or after the first week of November? And will we return to the sales volumes experienced in 2018 and 2019?  Whatever the answers, the facts are that the financial effects will be with the industry for an extended period.”

“The cutting tool market in May continued to shrink from April but at a much slower pace. We are now starting to see some market segments begin to stabilize and those segments should start to recover slowly in the months ahead,” commented Phil Kurtz, Vice President of Business Development of Dormer Pramet. He then stated, “It is very possible April and May will represent the bottom of the cycle, but considering the volatility of the current market only time will tell.”


Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT)