Despite various economic indicators suggesting that U.S. demand for industrial products is slowing, the latest data from two trade associations representing cutting tool manufacturers and distributors illustrated healthy growth in that market for the month of May.
The May Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR) from the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and the Association for Manufacturing Technology showed that U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $210.6 million, up 10.8% from April and up 20% year-over-year. It brought year-to-date cutting tool consumption — valued at approximately $1 billion — to 16.1% growth compared to the same period in 2022.
“The cutting tool consumption in May indicates that metal-cutting production has not been drastically affected yet by a slowdown,” stated Jack Burley, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group and Committee, in a July 17 news release. “There is some hesitancy from the market for new projects, but overall, we are still trending in the right direction.”
“The cutting tool industry remains inconsistent after 2023 started strong, but demand seemed to decline each month through April. Now May is showing some resilience,” added Tom Haag, President of Kyocera SGS Precision Tool. “The common buzzword for the cause of this variation is ‘supply chain.’ Looking to the summer, July and August generally trend down due to automotive model changes and summer holidays. However, 2022 trended upward, so we hope to see a repeat performance despite economic headwinds.”
The total cutting tool consumption is calculated through those reported by companies participating in the Cutting Tool Market Report collaboration, which USCTI and AMT say represents the majority of the U.S. market for cutting tools.
The CTMR came a week after the AMT’s latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report showed that May’s new orders of metal cutting, forming and fabricating technology were up 8.6% vs. April but down 16.7% year-over-year. Year-to-date orders of $2.1 billion through May were down nearly 15% vs. a year earlier.