April U.S. Metalworking Machinery Orders Return to Normal - Modern Distribution Management

Log In

April U.S. Metalworking Machinery Orders Return to Normal

April's orders sunk by nearly the same amount that they spiked in March, which is when many builders of such machinery end their fiscal year.
Metalworking CNC lathe milling machine. Cutting metal modern processing technology. Milling is the process of machining using rotary cutters to remove material by advancing a cutter into a workpiece.

New orders for metal cutting, forming and fabricating machinery (manufacturing technology) totaled $317.9 million during April 2024, according to the Association for Manufacturing Technology’s monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report (USMTO).

That total was down 25.6% from March, essentially reversing March’s 24.9% spike that typically occurs as many builders of manufacturing technology end their fiscal year in March. 

April’s total was down 5.4% year-over-year, much improved from March’s -21.3%. 

Year-to-date, orders through April totaled $1.43 billion, down 16.2% from the first four months of 2023. 

Orders have steadily declined since hitting a peak in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to USMTO data. AMT noted that although 2024 has had the weakest start to the year since 2020, year-to-date orders are nearly 5% above the average order volume for the first four months of a year since USMTO began tracking orders in 1998. 

The April USMTO report also shared the following:  

  • Contract machine shops — the largest customer of manufacturing technology — decreased orders significantly in April compared to March 2024, but by less than the overall market. Still, contract machine shops experienced the slowest start to the year since the first few months of 2020. 
  • After two strong years of orders, the automotive industry has begun to pare back investment in manufacturing technology. Consumer demand for electric vehicles has not met expectations despite significant investment from major automakers. 
  • The aerospace industry has continued its elevated level of investment into 2024. Order activity from this sector is particularly strong in the Southeast region, leading it to the strongest growth of any region. 

Related Posts

Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to mdm.com, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to MDM.com
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on mdm.com
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.