According to figures released by the Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA) as part of its annual market forecast, the U.S. industrial valve industry is expected to grow by 3% in 2013 with total shipments nearly $4.3 billion. In its fourth consecutive year of growth following the recession, the industry will surpass its previous 10 year peak set back in 2008.
VMA President William Sandler was enthusiastic about the figures. “As VMA starts its 75th year, I’m optimistic about the outlook for our industry. We have rebounded from the downturn, which is a good sign for us and the overall economy. If the end users of our products are ordering from us, then they too are producing,” he said. “I’m also proud of VMA’s important role in strengthening an industry that is the backbone for so many others and that stands out for its level of excellence.”
Member Optimism Reflects Data
Optimism about the economic outlook was mirrored by association members polled in a recent VMA economic survey. Results of the poll showed that 85% of the membership expects 2013 to be better or equal to 2012, which was already better than predicted. 2012 figures surpassed initial projections, reaching $4.15 billion, which represents 22% growth over the last decade.
Stability Across Industries
Overall, the VMA forecast reveals only slight changes for most of the 15 end-user industries served by its members.
While power generation is predicted to have the largest increase in shipments from 2012, rising 1.0 percentage points, the greatest number of valves will be shipped to the chemical industry, which is expected to rise just 0.1% to 17.2% of the market share. Four other industries including petroleum refining and oil and gas transmission are expected to record smaller increases of 0.2 or 0.1 percentage points.
As has been reflected in presentations at the VMA 2012 Market Outlook and the 2013 Technical Seminar, despite the fact that water and wastewater is still the second largest user of valves, that industry is forecast to decline by 0.6 percentage points to 16.2% of the total. Seven other industries show smaller declines.
Automated Valves Lead Sales
Since 2003, automated valves have accounted for more than any other type of valves, and 2012 was no exception. Automated valve sales totaled $1.3 billion in 2012, followed by $760.5 million in ball valve sales.
The VMA report also revealed that 21% of shipments are exports, a growing trend as the industry adapts to the opportunities presented by globalization. The opportunities for sector growth in developing countries are featured in this recent article reporting on trends in the industry.
VMA Members Contribute to Nation’s Bottom Line
Like other engineering and manufacturing industries, the valve industry supports high quality jobs. VMA members alone employ more than 20,000 people directly and thousands more indirectly.
Beyond employment, VMA companies are an important part of the nation’s economic engine, supplying approximately 35% of worldwide valve demand. As a multi-billion industry, the valve and actuator business greatly contributes to the success of other key industries that rely on its products to keep their products working.