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Demand for bearings to rise 4.4% annually through 2017 in US

Cleveland, OH - Ball, roller and plain bearing demand in the United States is forecast to increase 4.4% per year to $12.9 billion in 2017. This will be a notable improvement from the growth registered during the 2007 to 2012 period.


Cleveland, OH – Ball, roller and plain bearing demand in the United States is forecast to increase 4.4% per year to $12.9 billion in 2017. This will be a notable improvement from the growth registered during the 2007 to 2012 period.

Market advances will be supported by improved conditions in motor vehicle manufacturing, the largest market for bearings. The trend toward ‘insourcing’ US durable goods manufacturing will create opportunities in a variety of markets.

Major companies supplying bearings include TEKT, NSK, NTN, Schaeffler, SKF, STK, and Timken.

Engine, turbine & power transmission market to grow the fastest

The engine, turbine, and power transmission equipment market will experience the fastest growth, bolstered by continued growth in the wind energy segment. The automotive market will not be far behind, outpacing overall bearing demand gains. Bearing manufacturers will benefit from particularly strong growth in heavy truck and bus production, as these vehicles utilize more bearings (both in unit and dollar terms) than passenger cars.

Roller bearings to offer best growth opportunities

Roller bearing demand is expected to continue to outpace other product types, supported by sales of higher value, technologically advanced bearings. Roller bearings will continue to be the largest product segment, comprising over 40% of demand in 2017.

OEM bearing applications to outpace MRO Uses

Demand for bearings in OEM applications will outpace the industry average, due to ongoing growth in US durable goods output. Many durable goods manufacturers are building or upgrading production facilities in the US, boosting demand for components such as bearings. Increased production of machinery will stimulate gains, since these industries are heavy users of more advanced, high-value bearing products.

Bearing shipments

Bearing shipments from US plants are forecast to increase 4.3% annually to $12 billion in 2017, approximating demand growth. Industry output will be stimulated by growth in several key domestic bearing-using industries (e.g., motor vehicles, machinery) and by rising demand in a number of export markets. However, intense competition from bearing suppliers in lower-cost countries is expected to hold back price increases. Both imports and exports will post steady gains through 2017, and the US will remain a net importer.

The report, Bearings to 2017, published by the Freedonia Group, is available for US$5,100 from http://www.freedoniagroup.com.