Pump Sales to Hit $34 Billion Later Than Expected


Forecasts of revenues for the world pump industry have been revised downward in the last year. Nevertheless, according to the online Pumps: World Markets report, published by the McIlvaine Company, sales will grow from $28.9 billion in 2003 to $34.2 billion in 2007. Earlier McIlvaine forecasts projected crossing of the $34 billion threshold in 2006.

More than 10,000 manufacturers make a wide variety of pump types. The top five suppliers have sales of just under $6 billion (22 percent of the total market). These companies are ITT, Flowserve, Grundfos, Ebara, and KSB. The second tier of five companies has just 10 percent of the market. The third tier of five combines for just a 5.5 percent market share. The next five have a combined market share of 4 percent. The top 45 companies have a combined market share of 50 percent. The thousands of other manufacturers all have sales of less than $50 million with the majority having sales of less than $1 million.

Centrifugal pumps will continue to garner the bulk of the revenues. Sales in this category will grow by $4 billion from $21.9 billion in 2003 to $25.8 billion in 2007. Sales of rotary, reciprocating, and diaphragm pumps will grow more rapidly but from a small base. Rotary pump sales will exceed $3.5 billion in 2007.

Municipal wastewater plants will continue to be the largest purchasers with municipal water treatment (drinking water) in second place. The chemical and refining industries will be the third and fourth largest segments in 2007. The pharmaceutical industry is the fastest growing segment, but still will only reach the $500 million sales level in 2007.

China is the fastest growing geographical market. Major expansions of wastewater treatment plants will take place over the next five years. Irrigation and flood control pump purchases will be larger in China than the next ten largest countries combined. China will spend more on pumps for new power plants than any other country. U.S. power plants, however, will lead the world in purchases of pumps for existing facilities. The SARS epidemic is slowing Chinese pump projects. Most directly hit are service revenues as foreign companies are limiting travel to the country. Then again, this problem is likely to be temporary with no long-term impact.

The trend toward growth through acquisition continues. Nevertheless, with 10,000 suppliers, the merger of a few has little total impact on the market. Most acquisitions in the last year have been relatively small. Recently, Wilo acquired EMU Unterwasserpumpen. Wilo is one of the world market leaders in the field of pumps and pump systems for application in the building services segment. KSB AG is acquiring Dutch pump manufacturing company DP Industries B.V.

In general, many pump companies continue to enjoy large market shares in very specific application niches. A group of companies specializes in the stainless steel pumps needed by the food and pharmaceutical industry. Another group focuses on high-pressure pumps needed for steam generators. The market for large pumps in irrigation and flood control is very specialized with only a few companies capturing most of the market. The major producers of the large custom made pumps are ITT A-C, Cascade, Ebara, Flowserve, Fairbanks-Morse (Pentair), Johnston, Patterson (Gorman Rupp), MWI, Voith, and Ruhrpumpen (WDM). Additional manufacturers are ABS, Hyundai, Hitachi, and KSB for slightly smaller pumps.

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