It turns out that industrial valve demand is also coming from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) segment. With drilling in the U.S. at historical highs the last few years, new production calls for gas processing facilities and pipe lines requiring large numbers of industrial valves, says Adams.
One of the biggest issues facing the industrial valve market is sourcing. Many of today’s valves are being produced by third parties and then private labeled, which makes material hard to trace from its origin. Adams advises, “PVF distributors need to be cautious about valve products being manufactured in a global market. In a strong market, manufacturers come from all over the world offering products.” VMA’s Sandler says, “This is true to an extent, but most domestic producers are able to have their products traced.”
So, what’s the forecast for 2007? Most industry experts agree that it is optimistic. Affiliated Distributors Vice President PVF division Gary Jackson notes, “I can tell you that most of our PVF wholesaler members are very bullish on continued strong business for 2007. Markets such as oil & gas, petrochemical and power generation continue to spend on capital projects.”
Red Man has a similar outlook. “Several large refining companies have major expansion projects for 2007 and 2008. This expansion in refining also impacts the need for pipe line and storage. With the increase in heavy crude from Canada, industrial valve requirements will include larger numbers of chrome, stainless steel and special alloy valves. PVF distributors will need to focus on quality, industry-accepted manufacturers of these products offering reasonable deliveries,” says Adams.