From 2008 to 2015, the U.S. welding and soldering equipment market showed rising, but generally mixed dynamics. A significant drop in 2009 was followed by growth over the next four years, until the market decreased again. In 2015, the welding and soldering equipment market bounced back, reaching 5,425 million USD.
Demand for welding and soldering equipment depends heavily on the state of the construction sector and the manufacturing industry. After a steep decline in industrial production and construction during the recessionary years of 2008 and 2009, the U.S. economy stabilized and began to grow. This in turn stimulated a welding and soldering equipment market recovery. The consumption recovery, on the other hand, was primarily supported by import growth, which outpaced more moderate production expansion. The strong U.S. dollar and the negative dynamics of import prices enabled foreign companies to improve their positions on the U.S. welding and soldering equipment market.
As a result, a stable dependence on foreign supplies developed in the U.S. market, which was expressed in a stable share of imports in consumption over the three most recent years. And even with fierce competition from domestic manufacturers, the U.S. continues to be one of the most attractive destinations for foreign suppliers.
In 2015, the value of total U.S. welding and soldering equipment imports was 1,456 million USD. A significant drop in 2009 was followed by rocketing growth from 2010-2012, until imports leveled off in 2013. They then slipped noticeably in 2014, before rebounding the following year.
Japan, Canada, Germany, China and Mexico were the main suppliers of welding and soldering equipment into the U.S., with a combined 76% share of total U.S. imports in 2015. The fastest growing suppliers from 2007 to 2015 were Canada (+8.9% per year) and China (+9.1% per year). These two countries significantly strengthened theirs positions in the U.S. import structure, from 11% in 2007 to 17% in 2015 (Canada), and from 9% to 13% (China). By contrast, Japan saw its share reduced from 32% to 24%.
Despite an increasing dependence on imports, the U.S. supplies a significant amount of products to foreign markets. The U.S., in fact, was a net exporter of welding and soldering equipment from 2008 to 2014, with exports over this period constantly exceeding imports in value terms. However, in 2015, imports surged, while exports fell, causing a shift in trade balance, resulting in a trade deficit of 74.6 million USD.
In 2015, the U.S. exported 1,382 million USD, 14% under the previous year. The U.S. placed third in global welding and soldering equipment exports (with a 14% share, based on USD), barely trailing China and Germany (a little over 14% each).
From 2007 to 2015, U.S. welding and soldering equipment exports showed mixed dynamics. A significant drop in 2009 was followed by a recovery over the next two years, until that growth more or less evaporated. From 2012-2014, exports remained relatively stable, followed by a steeper decline in 2015.
A post-crisis recovery and further stable dynamics has improved the industry’s performance in recent years. However, due to a strong dollar, exports should not be considered a major driving force.
In 2015, Canada (401 million USD) and Mexico (297 million USD) were the main destinations of U.S. welding and soldering equipment exports, together comprising 50% of U.S. exports.
The construction sector and manufacturing sector heavily influence the demand in the welding and soldering equipment industry. After recovering from a significant decline during the lean years of 2008 and 2009, the economy is forecast to continue recovering, with increasing downstream activity. This factor will encourage the demand for welding and soldering equipment production, notwithstanding competition from low-cost imports, which may partially impede overall growth.
Driven by the residential construction segment, and rising demand from the public administration, defense and social security and real estate industries, the US construction market increased by 9.5% in 2015. Significantly higher prices for building materials, and an increase of interest rates will, however, limit the development of the industry. Even with that, the welding and soldering equipment market is forecast to continue its growth from 2016-2020, driven by housing activities, private commercial and non-industrial construction and multiple infrastructure and transportation projects.
Metallurgy broadly utilizes welding and soldering equipment. The metallurgy market continues to be restrained by an unfavorable investment climate and unpredictability over the future of the automotive industry, which is one of the main forces outlining demand for metallurgy production. Moderate revenue growth of 3% per year is forecast for the next three years.
On the whole, factoring in the current economic recovery in the U.S., the welding and soldering equipment sector is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next five years.
The performance of the market is forecast to accelerate with an anticipated CAGR of +2.7% for the six-year period from 2015 to 2020, which is projected to lead the market value to 6.19 million USD by the end of 2020.
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