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Japan machine tools bounced back in 2000. (Presstime Notes).

Metalcutting machine tool orders in Japan reached $8.3 billion, up 28.9 percent over the previous year, and the first gain in three years, according to the Japan Machine Tool Builders Association (JMTBA), Tokyo, Japan. The result is not surprising in that machine tool orders have shown consecutive year-on-year gains for twelve consecutive months and a run of eleven consecutive months with double-digit gains.

December orders totaled $744 million, up 31.7 percent from the year-earlier month and 0.8 percent from November. In September orders had topped the $766 million mark for the first time in 27 months, reflecting the strong recovery.

By source, domestic Japanese orders accounted for $4.4 billion, up 44.1 percent, and foreign orders totaled $3.8 billion, up 14.9 percent. The recovery is being led by Japanese demand as domestic orders took up 53.5 percent of total orders, overtaking foreign ones for the first time in three years, says JMTBA.

By composition of total orders by machine type including NC machine tools, machining centers accounted for 34.1 percent--with horizontal types accounting for 16.3 percent; vertical types, 15.8 percent; and other types, 2.0 percent. Turning machines accounted for 31 percent of the total. Taken together the two categories accounted for 65.1 percent of total orders. They are followed by grinding machines, which accounted for 8.7 percent of the total; EDMs, 6.8 percent; and other machine tools, 5.8 percent. JMTBA began breaking down by type in January 2000.

The order backlog as of the end of 2000 amounted to $3.43 billion, up 24.9 percent from the year earlier, the first increase in three years. When divided by the average sales amount for the most recent quarter (Q4 2000), the order backlog translates into 5.6 months of sales, a slight narrowing from the 6.0 months of sales at the end of 1999.
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Title Annotation:Japan Machine Tool Builders Association report
Publication:Tooling & Production
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 1, 2001
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