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AMA predicts slow growth for panel builder market through to 2015

28 April 2011

AMA Research has published the latest in its long series of reports on the UK panel builders market, which it currently estimates to be worth £500m at manufacturers' 2010 selling prices.Market decline over the last three years has been significant, says AMA, though this has been difficult to estimate, reflecting the variable performance of different product groups and the wide range of end use markets.

On current forecasts AMA expects the UK panel builders market to continue to grow very slowly through to 2015, reaching a value of around £520m. Key factors underpinning low level, long term market growth include health and safety, environmental and energy efficiency legislation, as well as rising long term electricity consumption and more positive conditions in the oil and gas sector.

Key application areas include industrial and manufacturing, water and sewage, power generation, oil, gas and marine, construction, and transport. World-wide investment in the oil and gas industries, for example, is likely to stimulate investment in capital projects with positive implications for the UK panel building industry. Life extension projects for the ageing power generation asset base will tend to provide some additional opportunities for panel builders. In addition, decommissioning projects will provide low level, long term motivation for the panel building industry, while opportunities are also likely to arise in the fledgling carbon capture and storage sector.

The automation sector, including panels and components, will receive some additional long term motivation from energy efficiency trends and the requirement to reduce operating costs and improve levels of competitiveness.

In the extreme long term, AMA believes the nuclear power station new-build sector is likely to provide some additional opportunities for panel builders, with a reported ten sites identified in England and Wales. Adverse publicity, warns the researcher, may yet have a negative impact on this new-build programme.
Niche growth sectors are represented by homeland security - with a reported 10% per annum market growth in Western countries - and railway electrification.

While the opportunities in the non-domestic renewable sector should not be over-stated, it is likely that some long term opportunities are likely to arise, particularly for those specialising in switchgear and power distribution panels.

Adverse influences bearing on the UK panel builders market include the forecast decline in non-domestic construction in 2011-2012, reflecting capital spending cuts in the public sector in particular, though this should partially be offset by a more buoyant infrastructure sector and gradual recovery in private commercial markets.

The AMA Research report:
Panel Builders Market – UK 2011-2015 is available in hard copy or electronic formats price £665. It can be ordered online here.

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