By Lawrence J. Reaves

The global economy is still recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression of 1929, however there are distinct signs of recovery which can be gauged from activity in key sectors of the global industrial markets. This said, it is crucial that data is interpreted with the long-term nature of industrial pumping contracts in mind as any fluctuations in sales booked may not reflect the true underlying demand position in current markets.

There are five traditional sectors for the industrial pump market:

Commercial Marine

Oil & Gas

Power Generation



General Industrial

Commercial Marine

The approximate size of this sector is approximately $1.9 billion and the outlook is positive for demand (judged by new orders), however sales figures will probably decline due to the levels of cancellations reflected in 2009. The level of demand is directly related to the level of international trade which in turn fuels demand for crude oil along with other goods and commodities. A further factor in increasing demand is that the existing global merchant marine fleet is aging and new ship builds is likely to increase to replace vessels being taken out of commission. Industrial pump demand is also likely to be further fuelled in this sector by virtue of the action of regulators and especially the impact of environmental legislation which is being enacted and operated in an increasing number of key trading areas.

Oil & Gas

Overall, long term activity in this sector is likely to be positive in a sector worth approximately $5.5 billion. Demand for crude is likely to increase as trading activity picks up with the economic recovery which in turn drives the need for the further development of heavy oil fields. Pipelines are necessary for the transfer and transportation of crude oil and gas from resource fields to primary and secondary processing operations all the way through to commercial and retail end-users. The focus for customers will be on reducing total cost of ownership as the delayed impact of recessionary pressures continues to work itself out of the system. Overall, the sector should reflect stable numbers compared to 2009 with previously postponed projects being restarted in the current year.

Power Generation

This sector is worth approximately $3.8 billion and the outlook is positive for sales as large scale infrastructure projects in the Middle East and Asia (especially China and India) continue on track to meet chronic power undersupply.


This is the smallest sector of the industrial pump market at $0.5 billion and is driven primarily by US defense spending, particularly on replacing components of the aging US Navy and increasing focus on cost efficiencies. Overall, the outlook is positive as countries around the globe increase defense spending generally.

General Industry

This is the largest sector of the global industrial pump market, valued at approximately $25.2 billion. Capital investment is driving this sector but it is a very diverse sector and clear general trends can be very misleading. 2009 saw a significant decline across the board but especially in the chemical and distribution markets with greatest decline in North America and Europe. The trend for both sales and new orders should be positive for 2010.

About the Author: Lawrence Reaves works with Colfax Corporation, a leading provider of

fluid handling equipment

such as

oil injection pumps


commercial marine pumps

. Colfax Corporation can be found online at: or at their blog .


Permanent Link: