MRO Magazine

Demand for bearings to reach $35 billion worldwide by 2007

Cleveland, OH -- Worldwide demand for bearings is projected to increase 5.7% per annum to over US$35 billion in 200...


October 17, 2003
By MRO Magazine

Cleveland, OH — Worldwide demand for bearings is projected to increase 5.7% per annum to over US$35 billion in 2007, according to a new study by The Freedonia Group Inc.

Gains will exceed the 1997-2002 pace based on accelerating global economic growth, which will stimulate motor vehicle production and fixed investment activity, two major determinants of bearings demand. These and other trends are presented in the company’s 318-page study, World Bearings, which costs US$4,800.

The most rapid growth in bearings demand is forecast for the developing areas of Asia/Pacific, Latin America, Africa/Mideast and Eastern Europe. Increasing industrialization in these regions will lead to rising OEM output for bearing-consuming products, says Freedonia. While these factors will support growth in the developing nations of the Asia/Pacific region, the region also derives a large share of demand from the mature economy of Japan, where gains for bearings are projected to lag the global average.

Gains for bearings in the more mature regions of North America and Western Europe will also lag the global average. North America and Western Europe will, however, continue to be major markets for bearings. This prominence results from their developed industrial economies, which lead to vast requirements for bearings across all major markets.


Ball bearings comprised over 45% of bearing sales in 2002, the largest of any product type. Ball bearings will maintain this position through 2012, due to their use in a wide range of applications. Roller bearings, which comprised nearly 40% of sales in 2002, will post similar gains to ball bearings through 2007.

Industrial machinery accounted for over 50% of the world bearings market in 2002, and will remain dominant due to recovering global capital investment and increased output of bearings-using industrial products. However, rising motor vehicle production will create opportunities in that market, and aerospace and other markets will also post good gains.

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