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2010 sales of MV drives will be worse than 2009

07 April, 2010

The global market for medium voltage drives grew by just 0.7% in 2009 – a dramatic slowdown from the previous year when it had surged by more than 35%, driven largely by demand from China according to new figures from IMS Research.

The market analyst expects the economic downturn to have even more impact on the MV market in 2010, with revenues falling by 16.2% and unit shipments declining by 10.9% during the year. IMS attributes the delayed downturn to a significant lag between bookings and billings resulting from order backlogs that built up before the recession, and to long production times for these complex drives.

In 2008, global sales of MV drives were worth around $2.175bn, rising slightly to $2.19bn the following year. Unit shipments during 2009 were less affected by the downturn, increasing by 3.2% over 2008 levels.
IMS expects the market to contract strongly this year, as a result of severe declines in orders during 2009, especially from the metals, mining, marine, and cement industries. Together, these four sectors accounted for more than half of all MV drive revenues in 2008. Sales to the power generation, and water and wastewater industries are the only ones forecast to grow in both 2009 and 2010, driven by population growth, increased urbanisation, and infrastructure expansion in developing regions.
China is now the world’s largest regional market for MV drives, accounting for around 43% of revenues and 58% of units shipped in 2009. IMS expects growth in the Chinese market to slow substantially in the future, although it will still  grow by an estimated average annual rate of more than 13% between 2008 and 2013. Average selling prices for MV drives in China are much lower than the global average because of intense price competition and the prevalence of drives with lower power ratings.

In 2009, the US and Western European MV drive markets represented roughly 14% and 9% of global revenues respectively. IMS predicts that they will shrink by more than 35% in 2010, as their declining industrial sectors will need far fewer MV drives. Although the analyst expects the markets to return to double-digit growth by 2011, it does not expect them to recover to 2008 levels until after 2013. IMS also predicts that average selling prices will fall by about 3% per year in the US, and by 3.8% in Western Europe.
Siemens is the world’s leading supplier of MV drives with 26.5% of global revenues during 2009. ABB is second with a 20% share, and Converteam is third with 13.5%, according to IMS. All other suppliers had market shares of less than 7% during the year.

Two Chinese vendors, LD Harvest and Hiconics, with global market shares of 6.5% and 3.5% respectively in 2009, reflect the recent rise of Chinese manufacturers and the rapid growth of their home market.

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