The world market for industrial pumps will be just under $35 billion in 2011, with sales in Asia 50 percent greater than in the Americas and reaching as high as 43 percent of the world total, according to a report by McIlvaine Company. Municipal wastewater plants are expected to account for 23 percent of the total purchases, with municipal drinking water systems accounting for 16 percent of the market.

The chemical, power and refining industries are also expected to be big purchasers, with infrastructure needs in the developing world accounting for a significant portion of demand. Clean water is one of the highest priorities in Africa and Asia, and this will drive pump purchases to just under $15 billion this year, according to McIlvaine. China will lead the way in the Asian pump market, with major investments in pumps for power, water, wastewater, and many basic industries.

Further, China has been steadily gaining domestic capability to produce the more demanding types of pumps. Nevertheless, there are a number of major international suppliers who account for a significant portion of total sales, notes McIlvaine, with the top two suppliers accounting for 16 percent of world sales, and the top five suppliers accounting for 33 percent of world sales.