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Report reveals modest recovery for U.S. Industrial Transformer market in the coming years

Many had hoped for good news after the United States market for industrial transformers shrank dramatically in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, but a new report predicts an annual gain of 0.67% until 2015 and 1.5% per year thereafter.

Since 2008 the market for industrial transformers in America dropped from $1 billion to $5.9 billion in 2011, the organiser of the CWIEME coil winding, insulation and electrical manufacturing exhibition released the report within which they have warned the industry to be ‘realistic' when it came to a recovery of the U.S transformer market.

The report stated:

"The sector is recovering, and [this news] should be welcomed, but we must be realistic: by 2020 – some 12 years after the crash – the U.S. industrial transformers market will only just be over $6 billion, compared to its height of $6.8 billion in 2008."

According to Ben Ehmcke, CEO of The Impact Paper, the purchase of transformer components has changed dramatically since around the year 2000.

He said:

"At the turn of the last century there was ample supply of major components required for the manufacturing of power distribution transformers. These are primarily grain orientated electrical steel (GOES), transformer oil and copper and aluminium magnet wire," he said.

"By 2006 the picture had changed dramatically. The largest global supplier of transformer oil, Shell Oil, had pulled out of market, China had started to affect pricing for both copper and aluminium and due to three years of unusually heavy storm seasons the mills supplying GOES were pushed to their limits. All these factors resulted in escalating material costs and concerns about availability."

Ehmcke also highlighted the tightening of efficiency standards by the U.S. Department of Energy, causing manufacturers to look abroad for the sourcing of cheap but low-loss GOES, aluminium and copper.

The CWIEME report also detailed the United States' transformer export market. 44% of the country's exported transformers go to Mexico and Canada, while 91.1% and 91.4% respectively of these countries' transformer exports go to the U.S.

Many countries see the United States as a key customer and the U.S. is, of course, of significant importance to the transformer industry, despite the slow growth. Those who have an interest in the United States transformer market can download the report from the CWIEME website.


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