CEMA members express cautious concern over decline in first half figures

Forecast for growth revised to slight contraction as bulk conveyor sales dip.

By ·

Executives representing members of the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) expressed cautious concern at their recent Fall Meeting, following a softening of the market after consecutive record years.

Bob Reinfried, executive vice president of CEMA, said in a recent interview that as a result of this softening, the updated forecast is for a 2% decrease in 2013 shipments, amended downward from the March 2013 forecast of a 5% increase.

“We were using the info available to us in March, and we find that there is still some strength on the unit handling side even as bulk numbers drop,” Reinfried said. In fact, in the first six months of 2013 unit handling orders were up 8.17% and shipments were up 12.20% over the same period in 2012. Reinfried expects unit handling to continue to grow through 2013. In the bulk conveying area, orders were down 16.76% and shipments were down 16.56%.

“That said, some members at the meeting felt we might still be positive by the end of the year, so 2% is a conservative estimate,” Reinfried said. “And 2% off a record is not a bad year. Things are just leveling off. I don’t believe there was anyone who thought we could see sales continue at those unprecedented levels.”

CEMA reports that overall industry orders (bookings) for the first six months of 2013 decreased 3.72% compared to the same period in 2012, with total orders of $5.21 billion. Industry billed sales (shipments) for the first six months of 2013 decreased 1.72% compared to the same period in 2012, with total shipments of $5.09 billion.

Despite the slight softening, Reinfried said efforts to grow CEMA’s membership continue unabated. “We are continuing to try to expand our representation in the North American market, and we see Mexico and South America being potential growth areas. In fact we might release one of the CEMA publications in Spanish and work to build membership there.”

CEMA tracks new orders and shipped sales volume in nine classes of unit handling equipment and four classes of bulk handling equipment. Founded in 1933, CEMA is the trade association of 127 leading North American conveyor equipment manufacturers and engineering firms.

CEMA historical figures:
Fall of 2008
Orders: 3.87 billion
Shipments: 3.89 billion, down 3.3%
Fall of 2009
Orders: 2.89 billion
Shipments: 3.18 billion, down 18.8%
Fall of 2010
Orders: 3.09 billion
Shipments: 3.46 billion, up 19.6%
Fall of 2011
Orders: 4.58 billion, up 38.28%
Shipments: 4.13 billion, up 39.51%
Fall of 2012
Orders: 5.46 billion, up 22.79%
Shipments: 5.22 billion, up 30.37%


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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