For the third year in a row, shipments for the U.S. and Canadian industrial valve industry will grow, rising to about $4 billion in 2012, according to the Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA). That’s a rise of about 2.2 percent from 2011 levels of $3.915 billion and equal to the industry’s 10-year peak in 2008. The figures were released as part of VMA’s annual market forecast.

“Although the rise is slight compared to some year-to-year increases early in this decade, the fact that we witnessed three years of growth through a difficult economy shows how strong the valve industry is,” said VMA Chairman, Bruce Broxterman, president of Richards Industries, in a prepared statement. “We expect the gains to continue over the next few years.”
Like all manufacturing industries, valves saw a decline at one point during the recent world economic woes, dropping about 5 percent in 2009. However, shipments have been rising steadily since then, according to VMA.

The VMA believes one factor that will contribute to growth in 2012 is a rise in domestic shipments, which have remained about the same during the last few years. Meanwhile, the association predicts exports of valves will again grow, with a forecast of more than $790 million for 2012.

The projected growth for valve shipments in the industry for 2012 will occur across the entire range of end-users with most industries expected to gain slightly in total dollar shipments of valves, the VMA forecast shows.

Along with its annual market forecast for valve shipments, the VMA released historical data on past valve shipments by product category and total shipments, as well as its annual breakdown of valve shipments by end-user markets. A few highlights include:

  • Shipments by Valve Categories (2002-2011) – In 2011, automated valves accounted for the biggest share among valve types ($1.2 billion), followed by ball valves ($718 million), and gate, globe and check valves ($577 million).

  • Total Individual Valve Shipments Over the Past 10 Years – Valve shipments in 2011 at $3.915 billion were the strongest they’ve been during the past decade except during their peak in 2008 at $4.0 billion in sales. In 2001, valve shipments were about $3.1 billion.

  • Distribution Forecast of End Users in the 2011 Valve Market – Of the 15 markets tracked by VMA in 2011, Water & Wastewater had the largest share at about 18 percent, followed by Chemical (17 percent), Petroleum Production and Petroleum Refining (each at about 12 percent), and Power Generation (11 percent).