Cleveland, OH — World demand for industrial valves is forecast to increase 5.5% per year through 2007 (including price increases) to over US$60 billion, predicts The Freedonia Group Inc. This represents an improvement over the 1997-2002 period, reflecting accelerating macroeconomic growth in the developing regions of Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Improving economic fundamentals — especially fixed investment levels — will bolster more valve-consuming sectors and strengthen underdeveloped infrastructures in these regions. As a result, primary energy consumption will increase, creating opportunities for valve suppliers in the key energy production sector in the developing world. These and other trends are presented in World Valves, a new study from Freedonia.
The advances nations of North America, Western Europe and Asia/Pacific (i.e., Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea) comprise mature markets for valves. Although the valve markets in the U.S., Japan and Western Europe will all register gains that will lag the global average through 2007, all three will also see an improvement in their respective markets over the performance of the 1997-2002 period.
Stronger demand prospects for more expensive automated valves and actuators will also aid the overall valve markets in the U.S., Japan and Western Europe.
Global demand for automatic valves will outpace that for conventional valves, benefitting from the desire of process manufacturers to improve efficiency. Industrial valve designs and technology are well-established and well-understood, with product innovation tending to be evolutionary in nature. Innovation occurs along such parameters as materials of construction (plastics, ceramics, etc.) and productivity enhancement (e.g. improved electronic controls for actuation).
The largest and most technically proficient valve manufacturing industries are generally located in the developed nations, as evidenced by the fact that the U.S., Germany, Japan and Italy together accounted for over half of global valve production in 2002, notes Freedonia. However, China is rapidly becoming a major player and net exporter. Russia, France, the United Kingdom and Taiwan are also notable valve producers. Italy, Germany and Japan are the world’s largest net exporters of valves.