Cutting tool orders make large jump in March

U.S. cutting tool consumption jumped almost 20% in March according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

By Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) May 19, 2021

U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $177.6 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). This total, as reported by companies participating in the Cutting Tool Market Report collaboration, was up 18.8% from February’s $149.5 million and down 2.6% when compared with the $182.3 million reported for March 2020. With a year-to-date total of $471.9 million, 2021 is down 14.4% when compared to March 2020.

Brad Lawton, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group, said in a press release: “The cutting tool industry March totals are encouraging sales volumes that are nearing pre-pandemic numbers. This is supporting evidence that the market is responding, and we hopefully can put the experiences from the pandemic behind and move forward for the balance of 2021.”

“Although the 18.8% jump in shipments from February to March looks fantastic, it is important to remember there were three more working days in March over February,” said Steve Stokey, executive vice president and owner of Allied Machine and Engineering. “If we smooth the number over the number of working days, the growth is slightly over 3%. This is very similar to what we saw in February over January. Although there is optimism in the market as we recover from COVID-19, there are headwinds. The chip shortage for automobiles, other supply chain issues, labor participation, and government policy are creating uncertainty for the market as we move forward.”

The graph above 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.