MRO Magazine

U.S. demand for fasteners to reach $12.5 billion in 2013


October 9, 2009
By PEM Magazine
U.S. demand for industrial fasteners will advance 1.2 percent per year to $12.5 billion in 2013. This and other trends are presented in Industrial Fasteners, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm. According to the study, sales will be bolstered by an expected recovery in motor vehicle production from the low levels of 2008. Market expansion will also be supported by an acceleration in construction spending growth, and a strong rebound in residential building in particular. In addition, gains will be driven by fastener manufacturers offering innovative products with performance enhancing features that can be sold at a premium. Demand will also increase in real terms, a reversal from the declines registered during the 2003 to 2008 period, when value gains were propped up by price increases. 
A number of factors will limit faster advances, including competition from alternative joining technologies such as adhesives, clinching and welding. Furthermore, output in several important original equipment manufacturing (OEM) industries is expected to moderate and in some cases even decline.  Perhaps the most significant factor restricting advances will be a forecast decline in fastener prices. Due primarily to falling raw material costs, average industrial fastener prices will decrease through 2013.  
The market for aerospace-grade fasteners will outpace standard fastener sales by a narrow margin, with expected growth of 1.4 and 1.1 percent, respectively. Increased shipments of aerospace equipment will drive gains in this area. The trend toward larger aircraft will also support the use of more fasteners. Further market expansion will be held back by a slowing in national defense spending. In addition, aircraft and space vehicles will increasingly be constructed using composite materials, which often require the use of fewer fasteners.  
The construction segment will post the fastest gains through 2013, driven by an expected solid recovery in new home construction from the low levels of 2008. OEM applications will continue to be the most significant market for producers of industrial fasteners. Fastener sales advances in the OEM segment will be supported by a recovery in motor vehicle production, as well as by continued growth in aerospace equipment shipments. Further expansion will be restrained by moderating shipments in a number of key OEM industries, including machinery and electrical/electronic products. In addition, the important fabricated metal product industry is expected to see decreasing output levels through 2013.
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