Global Machine Tool Demand Seen Rising to $121 Billion

Market forecast sees North America CNC demand rising, but trailing China and India for market expansion

Global demand for machine tool products will rise by 9.4% annually through 2014, paced by demand from China, India, and other developing nations. That is the significant conclusion of a new study from an industry market-research firm.

The Fredonia Group’s World Machine Tools defines the market to include metal-cutting machine tools, metal-forming machine tools, and machine tool accessories. The strong, 9.4% increase through 2014 carries would see a market valued at $121 billion, the source reports.

While the developing world will lead the expansion in the metal-cutting machine tool segment, growth in North America will be “respectable” only because 2009 was such a dismal year for the U.S. market. Gains in Japan and Western Europe will lag the global average by considerable factors, the study predicts.

“Although the industrial machinery and equipment market will continue to account for the largest share of demand in 2014, the transportation sector will post the strongest gains,” according to The Freedonia Group. The transportation sector growth will improve because of a rebound in motor vehicle production from 2009’s depths, especially in the developed world. Demand also will also enhanced by commercial aircraft production industry.

In addition, gains in the electronic equipment market will benefit from increasing per capita incomes in developing countries that will allow consumers to buy electronic products. In developed countries, the fact that many electronic products are considered to be basic necessities will buoy that market segment.

The global market for metal-cutting machine tools is seen expanding 8.6% annually to $61 billion through 2014. The increase will be abetted by recoveries in key end-use markets in the developed world. Metal cutting tools will continue to account for a majority of the total machine tools market through 2014, Freedonia contends, and world demand for metal-forming machine tools will increase 8.3% annually to $23 billion through 2014.

Freedonia Group forecasts the global market for machine tool accessories will increase 11.6 percent annually to $37 billion through 2014 — the fastest rate of growth expected in any of the major machine tool market segments. “Newer metal-cutting and metal-forming tools last longer and need less frequent replacement,” the researchers stated, “reducing their growth potential. In recent years, machine tool users have found it economical to accessorize existing tools with attachments such as cutting tools, dies, jigs and the like in an economically uncertain and competitive environment.”

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