Global bearing demand to exceed $104bn in 2020

Jon Lawson

Global demand for bearings is forecast to increase 6.1% year through 2020 to $104.5 billion, accelerating from the 2010-2015 period.

Expansions in fixed investment spending and durable goods manufacturing will support bearing demand growth. In particular, production of motor vehicles, the largest market for bearings, will continue to rise, boosting overall gains. These and other trends are presented in World Bearings, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland, US-based industry research firm.

China will remain the largest bearing market in the world and will account for more than a third of total industry demand in 2020 as sales increases there continue to outpace the global average.  China is the world’s largest manufacturer of durable goods, producing significant quantities of aerospace equipment, machinery, motorcycles, and motor vehicles, all of which utilise large numbers of bearings.

According to analyst Kyle Peters, “India will record the fastest increase in bearing demand through 2020.”

India’s motor vehicle and machinery markets are expected to expand substantially, bolstering related bearing demand in original equipment manufacturing applications and supporting growth in aftermarket demand. In general, the strongest sales advances will be in the world’s developing areas, with Thailand, China, and Mexico also posting particularly robust market gains.

Sales growth in a number of developed countries, especially in Western Europe, will accelerate.  The West European market for bearings has been restrained in recent years by subpar advances in durables manufacturing output.  Japan and South Korea will also record stronger increases in bearing demand than during the 2010-2015 period, with Japan recovering from market declines recorded during that span.

On the other hand, bearing demand gains in the US, which was the world’s second largest market in 2015, will slow through 2020. The US bearing market posted strong advances between 2010 and 2015 due to recoveries in motor vehicle and machinery production.  However, output gains in these industries will moderate, limiting growth in related bearing demand.

World Bearings (published 08/2016, 372 pages) is available for $6,400 from The Freedonia Group.