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IRP sales to reach $14.8 billion by 2002.

Sales of industrial rubber products in the U.S. are forecast to increase 5.3% annually to $14.8 billion in the year 2002, according to a new study by The Freedonia Group, Inc.

Growth will decelerate from its strong 1992-1997 pace, particularly at the original equipment manufacturer (OME) level. Stronger gains are forecast for the repair and replacement sectors of the relevant markets due to a general conservatism both in industrial/commercial and consumer spending as the overall economy slows. While motor vehicles will remain the largest market, the aerospace, industrial machinery and construction market segments will experience the most rapid gains, according to the Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

The aerospace market will benefit from increased demand for commercial aircraft, as well as from repair and maintenance requirements for the existing fleet. Industrial robber products such as fluid power hose, vibration control items and various belts will be favorably impacted by this recovery. Rising industrial construction expenditures will promote solid, albeit decelerating demand for products used in the construction and/or repair and remodeling of industrial/commercial structures such as weatherstripping, elastomeric roofing, geomembranes and rubber floor and wall coverings. The construction market for industrial rubber products will also benefit from emerging applications, such as the use of rubber flooring for playgrounds and other athletic surfaces, and the use of rubber sheets and wall coverings for noise abatement purposes.

Freedonia says that industrial rubber products demand in the motor vehicle market will represent more than 40% of total demand in the year 2002. The overall market for vehicular parts, such as belts, hoses, weatherstripping and engine components, will be affected by slower OEM demand, as motor vehicle production is forecast to rise only 1% per year through 2002. Nonetheless, the OEM market will be buoyed by a number of trends, including the continuing popularity of larger vehicles, particularly sport utility vehicles, minivans and full size pickup tracks.
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Publication:Rubber World
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 1998
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