The McIlvaine Company

Valve Market Expands With New Applications And Asian Expansions


Source: The McIlvaine Company

Everywhere there are liquids and gases flowing in pipes there are valves to control the flow.  More than 25,000 companies manufacture valves around the world.  This year those companies will generate sales of $43 billion and by 2010 the sales will rise to $53 billion.  The growth will be fueled by new applications in the developed countries and by industrial expansion in the developing countries.  These are the conclusions reached in the online continually updated McIlvaine report, “Industrial Valves World Markets”.

Sales for the top 10 suppliers last year were $7.5 billion.  Sales for the companies ranked 11 through 20 were $3.5 billion.  Thus the top 20 companies accounted for 25 percent of the sales and averaged individual sales of $550 million.  The companies ranked 21-30 generated sales of $1.5 billion or $150 million each.  The companies ranked 31 to 40 enjoyed sales of $800 million or $80 million each.

The average sales for each of the top 50 companies was $270 million.  The average sales for the other 24,950 companies were just over $1 million.  So the industry is highly fragmented with many small companies making up the bulk of the sales.  Many of these companies are highly specialized in terms of applications and/or geographic areas of activity.

Oil and gas is the largest application sector with 2006 sales of over $7 billion.  This sector is undergoing substantial change.  The rapid growth of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is presenting big opportunities for companies which can meet the extreme pressure and temperature demands.  The development of nonconventional oil sources such as tar sands also creates markets for rugged valve designs.

China is the leading purchaser of valves for new plants, while the U.S. remains the largest purchaser of repair parts.  In the power sector, China will purchase more valves for new power plants than the rest of the world combined.  China is also a leader in most heavy industrial sectors.  One area where it is not a top five purchaser is in pharmaceutical biotech.

Environment represents a continuing growth area for valve suppliers.  The remediation of ground water, desalination of seawater, and the conventional treatment of drinking water are all growing sectors.  Treatment of municipal wastewater in Asia is also expanding rapidly.  Double-digit growth is being experienced in the sales of valves for scrubber systems used for cleanup of exhausts from power plants and other industrial sources.

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