Demand for industrial valves in the U.S. is forecast to increase 4.9 percent per year to $19.8 billion in 2018, a considerable improvement from the performance registered during the 2008-2013 period, according to Industrial Valves, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
Valves are relatively mature products, and although design innovation and material developments provide some impetus for growth, sales levels in any given year are determined primarily by the performance of the industries that utilize these valves.
During the 2008-2013 timeframe, end-use markets for valves were negatively impacted by the recession, posting below average growth or declines. Through 2018, valve manufacturers will benefit from renewed strength in the industries that use these products.
The construction market will post the strongest increases in valve demand, as both residential and nonresidential construction spending increase at double-digit growth rates, rebounding from the declines recorded during the 2008-2013 period. Utilities construction will also recover, bolstering the large associated valve market. Freedonia Group Analyst Brendan Eyre says, “U.S. oil and gas production will continue to increase, driving sales of the often high-value valves utilized in these applications (custom-engineered valves for use in large-diameter oil pipelines can cost upwards of $100,000).” However, process manufacturing will remain the largest end-use market for valves. Gains in this market will be supported by growth in manufacturing output, particularly in the valve-intensive chemical industry.
Demand for automatic valves is forecast to outpace increases in standard valve sales, as a result of efforts by consumers to improve operational efficiencies. Furthermore, the positive outlook for most valve-using industries will lead companies to opt for automatic products in applications where they may have purchased standard valves in weaker economies. Automatic regulator valves will post the strongest gains of any product, as a result of their widespread use in chemical, oil and gas, and utility applications.