U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers purchased $189.6 million worth of cutting tools during July 2023, a decrease of -12.7% from the June consumption total but still 4.0% ahead of the total posted for July 2022. Through seven months of 2023 activity, manufacturers’ cutting-tool purchases have totaled $1.43 billion, 9.4% more than the January-July 2022 consumption total.“July is typically a slow month due to plant shutdowns and employee vacations. This year was no exception,” commented Jack Burley, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group.
Steve Stokey, executive vice president and owner of Allied Machine and Engineering, observed that “July 2023 (shipments) had the steepest decline since 2016. The value of shipments through July is up nearly 10%, but unit shipments remain flat. This indicates that a good bit of the growth we are seeing is due to the lingering effects of inflation in the cutting tool market.
“The onset of the autoworker strike as well as continued high interest rates may cause the industry to proceed cautiously for the remainder of the year,” according to Stokey.AMT – the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology and the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute compile the monthly Cutting Tool Market Report, from which the consumption data is sourced. Cutting-tool consumption is an indicator of overall manufacturing activity because those purchases reflect activity across a range of manufacturing market segments served by machining operations.
“Cutting tool consumption remains at a consistent level despite the news of declining activity in manufacturing,” Burley continued. “Automotive sales in 2023 have rebounded now that the supply-chain issues have been mostly resolved. However, the recent labor dispute is likely to disrupt production for not only the big three but also for all supply chain partners, which may affect cutting tool usage later this year if it isn’t resolved quickly.”
CTMR data is based on purchases reported by participating companies who comprise the majority of the U.S. market for cutting tools.