Global demand for bearings is projected to grow 7.8 percent annually to $96 billion in 2016. Unmounted ball bearings will remain the best selling type of bearing in 2016, followed closely by unmounted roller bearings. Unmounted roller bearings will experience the fastest sales gains in the 2011-2016 period. The motor vehicle and machinery markets accounted for over 70 percent of all bearing demand in 2011. Sales of bearings used in aerospace and other markets will rise faster, boosted by increased output of aircraft, rail equipment, motorcycles, electronic devices, and medical equipment in developing nations, as well as by more moderate gains in these same markets in the rest of the world. These and other trends, including market share and product segmentation, are presented in World Bearings, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
The Asia/Pacific region will post the fastest gains of any region between 2011 and 2016 -- climbing an average of 10 percent per year to $54 billion in bearing sales and accounting for more than half of the world total. Demand in China will rise fastest among the major markets in the region, stimulated by rapidly expanding motor vehicle and machinery production, combined with a strong aftermarket in industrial equipment and motor vehicle repair. In 2016, bearing sales to customers in China will account for one-third of the world total, and by 2021 the market will exceed those in North America and Western Europe combined.
Demand for bearings in Japan, the nations of Western Europe, and the US -- the largest mature markets -- will expand faster than it did during the 2006-2011 period. In most of these countries, manufacturing activity -- especially motor vehicle output -- plummeted between 2007 and 2009, before strengthening in 2010 and 2011. Bearing demand followed the same pattern, falling between 2007 and 2009 before turning upward in 2010 and 2011. As manufacturing output continues to recover, gains in bearing demand will be well above those posted during the 2001-2011 period, due partially to the modest levels of sales in 2011. Growing needs for industrial products and a variety of durable goods in the developing world will aid in the rapid acceleration of bearing sales to original equipment manufacturers operating in Japan, North America, and Western Europe.
The Freedonia Group is a leading international business research company, founded in 1985, that publishes more than 100 industry research studies annually. This industry analysis provides an unbiased outlook and a reliable assessment of an industry and includes product segmentation and demand forecasts, industry trends, demand history, threats and opportunities, competitive strategies, market share determinations and company profiles.