Companies in this industry manufacture metal industrial and fluid power valves, hose fittings, and pipe fittings. Major companies include units of integrated process control companies such as Curtiss-Wright, Flowserve, and Parker Hannifin (all based in the US), as well as valve manufacturers such as Crane, Mueller Water Products, and Watts Water (all based in the US), and IMI (UK), Kitz (Japan), KSB (Germany), and Pentair (Ireland).
The global industrial valves market is forecast to rise more than 4% per year through 2019, reaching a value of more than $98 billion, according to the Freedonia Group. Top countries for valve production include China, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US.
The US metal valve and pipe fitting manufacturing industry consists of about 1,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $34 billion.
Demand depends primarily on the level of manufacturing and construction activity. Construction activity in the chemical, petroleum, utilities, water treatment, and housing industries is especially important. Large companies have advantages in efficiency of operations and economies of scale. Offshore subsidiaries are frequently used for low-cost manufacturing. Smaller producers compete by focusing on specialized product offerings and superior customer service. The US industry is concentrated: the largest 50 companies generate about 65% of revenue.
Metal valves and pipe fittings compete with other materials, primarily plastics, in the residential market and with high-strength composites, fluorocarbons, and elastomers for high-end uses.
Leading import sources for the US market are China, Mexico,...