U.S. insulated wire and cable market to exceed $26 billion by 2006

08/16/2002


Cleveland, OH- Demand for insulated wire and cable in the U.S. is expected to increase 5.1% per year through 2006 to more than $26 billion, according to a recent study, Insulated Wire & Cable , by the Freedonia Group Inc. Though well below the robust gains made during most of the 1990s, projected growth for the insulated wire and cable market could represent a significant improvement in the market's performance over the past three years, which Freedonia reports were hindered by weakness in technology-related capital investment.

The study found that the best growth prospects will be for high-end products, such as fiber-optic, coaxial and multi-conductor wire and cable. Motor vehicle wire is also expected to achieve improved gains because of an improved outlook for U.S. light vehicle production. However, these gains for the wire and cable industry will be dampened by what Freedonia calls a difficult pricing environment. This is reportedly caused by the fact that wire and cable are increasingly viewed as commodity items.

U.S. Insulated Wire and Cable Demand
(in millions of $)

Type

1996

2001

% annual growth

1996-2001

2006

% annual growth

2001 to 2006

Fiber-optic

1,935

3,870

14.9%

5,290

6.5%

Building

3,020

3,700

4.1%

4,370

3.4%

Electronic

2,740

3,580

5.5%

4,840

6.2%

Telephone

2,200

2,880

5.5%

3,750

5.4%

Power

1,925

2,320

3.8%

2,720

3.2%

Other

3,465

4,100

3.4%

5,230

5.0%

Total

15,285

20,450

6.0%

26,200

5.1%

Source: Control Engineering with data from Freedonia Inc. (Cleveland, OH), www.freedoniagroup.com

The main growth-restraining factor for fiber-optic cable will be

The study also found that international trade will continue to play a major role in the insulated wire and cable field with import and exports each comprising more than 20% of total shipments. Export opportunities will be best for more advanced products, such as fiber-optic cable, because these products will be increasingly used in construction of telecommunication networks in developing nations. Despite an overall trade surplus, the U.S. will continue to run a significant deficit in some insulated wire and cable product categories, such as telephone and motor vehicle wire.

Communication will continue to be the largest market for wire and cable, mainly because this field includes so many applications. Though gains will exceed the overall industry average, decelerating growth in capital investment by telecommunications suppliers will cause gains to slow from the pace of the 1990s. Communications and information processing are expected to achieve the fastest growth of any markets, due to continuing increases in computer networking. Increasing production in the automotive industry will also create opportunities, as will growth in the amount of electronics contained in vehicles produced in the U.S.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com





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