Despite Solid October Gain, US Cutting Tool Orders Still Down 22% YoY

The president of the US Cutting Tool Institute said October's results show that "at least the bleeding has stopped."

Cutting Tools

October 2020 U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $167.9 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the Cutting Tool Market Report collaboration, was up 7.6% from September's $156.1 million and down 22.4% when compared with the $216.4 million reported for October 2019. With a year-to-date total of $1.6 billion, 2020 is down 23% when compared with October 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 Bret Tayne, President of USCTI, “Cutting tool sales for October appear to confirm that at least the bleeding has stopped. We may have taken a step backward in November as COVID cases surged and due to typical seasonality, but the overall direction is encouraging. The beginning of vaccine distribution, along with the potential for significant pent up demand in some customer segments, bodes well for our industry as we head into 2021.”

"New orders for cutting tools rose a brisk 7.6% in October, and are now back to levels not seen since March 2020. This recovery is in line with rising demand from manufacturers of electrical and medical equipment, along with better performance from traditional customers in transportation equipment and basic metals,” commented Mark Killion, Director of U.S. Industries at Oxford Economics.

The Cutting Tool Market Report is jointly compiled by AMT and USCTI, two trade associations representing the development, production, and distribution of cutting tool technology and products. It provides a monthly statement on U.S. manufacturers’ consumption of the primary consumable in the manufacturing process – the cutting tool. Analysis of cutting tool consumption is a leading indicator of both upturns and downturns in U.S. manufacturing activity, as it is a true measure of actual production levels.

Historical data for the Cutting Tool Market Report is available dating back to January 2012. This collaboration of AMT and USCTI is the first step in the two associations working together to promote and support U.S.-based manufacturers of cutting tool technology.

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.


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