CLEVELAND (July 31) — Demand for industrial rubber products in the U.S. is expected to increase by 2.9 percent annually through 2010 to reach $17.5 billion, according to a new study by the research firm Freedonia Group.
Industrial equipment, including industrial machinery and off-road vehicles, would remain the largest market for industrial rubber products and demand for these products would accelerate as the manufacturing outlook continued to improve, the Cleveland-based researcher said in the report, "Industrial Rubber Products."
"Aggregate increases will benefit from an acceleration in durable goods output, as growth continues to rebound from the 2001 to 2002 economic downturn," Freedonia said in a statement. "The routine maintenance and repair needs of the vast installed base of vehicles, equipment and machinery that went into service during the 1990s will support aftermarket demand for industrial rubber products."
Freedonia predicted that the aerospace and other transportation equipment market would see the fastest increases, driven by strong growth in aerospace and other transportation equipment shipments, the rising number of aircraft in service and stricter maintenance schedules.
Motor vehicles would also remain an important market due to the wide range of applications in cars, trucks and buses, the researcher said.
The report found that mechanical rubber goods — such as bushings, boots, body seals, moldings and windscreen wiper blades — were the largest component of the market, accounting for just over half the total demand in 2005.
Production of belts, hoses and rubber roofing membranes was also expected to grow by 2010, together accounting for 36 percent of the market.