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This study examines the global market for industrial valves.
Production by Region
Global production of industrial valves will be increasingly concentrated in the Asia/Pacific region going forward, with the area accounting for 48% of output growth through 2025. Particularly strong gains are expected in China, which will solidify its position as the world’s largest valve manufacturer.
Industrial valve manufacturing in Western Europe is projected to expand at a below average pace, constrained by the relative maturity of valve markets within the region. However, recovery in global demand for valves will support output gains in the export-oriented German and Italian industries.
Growth in valve production in North America will be spurred by advances in the US market, as the US is the world’s second largest valve manufacturer despite being a net importer of these products.
Valve manufacturing industries in Eastern Europe, Central and South America, and the Africa/Mideast region are expected to remain underdeveloped in the near term, and these regions will collectively continue to account for less than 10% of global production. While strong sales outlooks in these regions will encourage increased investment in local manufacturing, major valve multinationals have a limited presence and will need to develop distribution and sales networks along with production.
Global demand for industrial valves is forecast to rise 4.9% per year to $103 billion in 2025, as markets worldwide recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Growth will be about equally split between standard valves and automatic valves:
Standard valves will continue to be used more widely, reflecting their cost-effectiveness and the variety of applications where automation is unnecessary.
Automatic valves are expected to post somewhat faster growth, reflecting increasing modernization in lower-income countries and greater demand for value-added products in higher-income nations. In particular, the increasing technological sophistication of process manufacturing industries will provide a boost to growth.
While they will remain a small share of the market, automatic actuators are expected to post the fastest growth through 2025. Sales of these products will be boosted by their utility in implementing new automation and control system technologies while minimizing the need to replace existing physical infrastructure.
While most industrial valves are purchased new, a sizable market exists for rebuilt and remanufactured industrial valves and valve actuators. Spending on rebuilt and remanufactured valves – which is excluded from the scope of this study – reflects both the high cost and long mechanical life spans of many products:
Rebuilders repair specific problems with a valve or actuator (for instance, by replacing worn components like gaskets).
Remanufacturers upgrade the unit to current technological standards by completely disassembling and cleaning it, restoring all reusable components, and replacing all wearable parts with new ones.
New valves are less likely to break down than are refurbished products, but can nevertheless be too expensive for concerns with limited financial resources. As a result, a firm may opt to purchase remanufactured valves from either from an OEM or a supplier that specializes in pre-owned units. Remanufactured valves offer several benefits:
Costs can be less than 40% of those for comparable new products.
Acquiring remanufactured valves typically involves shorter lead times.
Using remanufactured valves is considered more environmentally friendly than buying new.
Demand by product is presented for:
standard multiturn valves (gate and globe valves, check valves, and pinch and diaphragm valves)
standard quarterturn valves (also known as rotary valves), including ball valves, butterfly valves , and plug valves (or plug cocks)
other standard – i.e., manually operated – valve products, including:
nuclear valves, which encompass hand-operated quarterturn, gate, globe, and check valves constructed of stainless steel or high alloy steel; various parts; a small percentage of automatic nuclear control valves and actuators
plumbing, heating, and cooling valves, which include a wide range of specialized designs, among the most common of which are antiscald (or water mixing) bath and shower valves, and flush valves and flushometers
safety, relief, and combined safety-relief valves
steam traps (also called steam pressure reduction units), including mechanical (including open top and inverted bucket traps, and float-and-lever traps); thermostatic; and thermodynamic (for example, disc and impulse traps) types
waterworks valves, including fire hydrants
miscellaneous valve designs, and separately sold manual valve actuators, bodies, and parts
automatic control valves
automatic regulator valves
separately sold automatic valve actuators
Demand by market is presented for:
process manufacturing, including petroleum refining; chemicals; pulp and paper; food and beverage; and other process manufacturing, such as primary metals, rubber and plastics, textiles, and stone, clay, and glass products
water infrastructure, including desalination plants
building construction, including in boilers and HVAC, energy lines, fire protection, floor and roof drains, and plumbing and irrigation
oil and gas, including both upstream and midstream segments of the industry
electricity generation, including privately and publicly owned facilities that produce electric power through various processes for residential, commercial, and industrial use such as regulated utilities, nonutility generators (NUGs), and electricity cogeneration operations of industrial plants
all other markets, including mining, shipbuilding, healthcare (excluding artificial heart valves), household and commercial appliances, natural gas utilities, railroad equipment, semiconductors and other discrete parts, and truck tank trailers
Excluded from the scope of this study are:
valves used in hydraulic and pneumatic fluid power systems
valves utilized primarily in automotive applications
other original equipment-type valves used as components in internal combustion engines and other non-industrial applications
artificial heart valves
Historical data for 2010, 2015, and 2020, and forecasts for 2025 and 2030 for shipments (at the manufactures’ level), demand, imports, and exports are provided in current dollar terms (which are not adjusted for inflation). Demand totals at the country level are also presented in local currency terms. Major product types and markets are also analyzed.
Global demand for industrial valves is forecast to increase 4.9% per year to $103 billion in 2025. Recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will fuel sales gains in all markets, with the process manufacturing segment accounting for the largest share of growth. Additionally, rising demand for more expensive valves with incorporated sensors will boost value growth.
Demand for Automation & Internet Integration Driving Innovation
As systems automation and internet integration become increasingly common, valve suppliers are finding greater opportunities to differentiate their products and services. While the physical performance of valves remains of paramount importance, increasing use of more advanced technology is spurring valve manufacturers to invest in digital competencies and service offerings. For example, suppliers of automatic valves are increasingly incorporating a wide range of sensors that track variables like temperature and pressure. Along with diagnostic software, these sensors provide important data that can be used for optimizing performance and continually assessing maintenance needs.
Due to the expanding variety of settings in which automation systems are in use, valve suppliers are being called on to provide more than just standardized physical products. Manufacturers that can consult with clients to provide valves as one component of a tailored automation system will find opportunities for growth.
Supply Chain Issues Continue to Impact Valve Costs
The cost environment for valve manufacturers remains volatile as of fall 2021. In 2020 and 2021, prices surged for both key raw materials (particularly iron ore and steel) and freight services. As a result, valve producers have been forced to hike prices to keep pace with rising production and distribution costs; consequently, average price growth for valves in 2021 is expected to be well above levels in recent years. The full impact of price increases on end markets remains to be seen, but it is expected that market recovery in 2021 will be significantly inflated by price growth and recovery in volume terms will be much weaker.
Though, iron ore prices have fallen below pre-pandemic highs, steel prices remain elevated and shipping costs and port delays continue to disrupt distribution. Navigating the volatile supply chain will be a key area of focus for valve suppliers seeking to benefit from rebound opportunities in the global economy.
Oil & Gas Market Primed for Rebound
The oil and gas market posted the sharpest decline of any major segment in 2020, as the collapse of oil prices in spring of that year led to a steep reduction in industry activity. Drilling rig activity fell precipitously in the US, while the OPEC+ coalition attempted to impose large production cuts on members.
Oil prices rebounded in 2021 as economic activity picked up worldwide, and investment in the global oil and gas industry has risen in turn. Continued recovery is expected through 2025. Many of the global valve market leaders have a particularly heavy emphasis on this market, and the industry will thus remain sensitive to oil and gas volatility.