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The Pandemic to Undermine the Growth of the American Metal Tank Market

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The Pandemic to Undermine the Growth of the American Metal Tank Market

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Market. Analysis And Forecast to 2025’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

In 2019, the U.S. metal tank market increased by 2.3% to $7.7B, rising for the third year in a row after two years of decline. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2014 when the market value increased by 5.2% against the previous year. As a result, consumption attained a peak level of $9.6B. From 2015 to 2019, the growth of the market remained at a lower figure, hampered by both an economic slowdown and lower metal prices which plummeted amid a sharp drop of global oil and commodity prices.

Metal tanks, as an element of engineering infrastructure, are widely used in various industries, particularly, in oil and gas extraction and processing, as well as in the chemical industry, and transport facilities. Therefore, the key factor determining the development of the market is the dynamics of the industrial sector, which, in a broader context, reflects the overall GDP growth. Another particular fundamental is the state of the global oil market which determines capital investment in the oil and gas sector.

According to the World Bank outlook from January 2020, the U.S. economy was expected to slow down to +1.7% per year in the medium term, hampered by increasing global uncertainty, trade war, and slower global growth. In early 2020, however, the global economy entered a period of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, due to which most countries in the world put on halt production and transport activity. The result will be a drop in GDP relative to previous years and an unprecedented decline in oil prices.

The U.S. is struggling with a drastic short-term recession, with the expected contraction of GDP of approx. -6.1% in 2020, as the hit of the pandemic was harder than expected, and unemployment soared due to the shutdown and social isolation.

The industrial sector has proven vulnerable to the pandemic as due to quarantine measures, industrial facilities were paused, and the drop in incomes of the population makes the growth of end markets unfeasible. The oil and gas sector also challenges a drastic drop in drilling activity and oil extraction which is due to much lower demand for oil amid the pandemic and the related dramatic drop in oil prices.

Tight financial conditions and uncertainty regarding the length of the pandemic and the possible bottom of the related economic drop, as well as high volatility of financial markets, and political tensions between the U.S. and China, disrupt capital investments in the immediate term, which is to put a drag on the metal tank market.

In the medium term, should the pandemic outbreak end in the second half of 2020, the economy is to start recovering in 2021 and then return to the gradual growth, driven by the fundamentals that existed before 2020.

Taking into account the above, it is expected that in 2020, the consumption of metal tanks will drop by approx. 6%. In the medium term, as the economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic, the market is expected to grow gradually, with an anticipated CAGR of +0.5% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to $8.2B (in fixed 2019 prices) by the end of 2030.

The U.S. Metal Tank Market Remains to a Large Extent Dependent on Imports

In value terms, metal tank production amounted to $7.7B in 2019. Over the period under review, production continues to indicate a perceptible downturn. The U.S. metal tank market remains dependent on imports: over the period under review, the share of imports in terms of total metal tank consumption in the U.S. increased from 12% in 2007 to 17% in 2019 (based on value terms). It means that the U.S. metal tank market remains an attractive destination for foreign manufacturers.

Metal tank imports declined dramatically to $1.3B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +3.4% from 2013 to 2019; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years.

In value terms, China ($492M) constituted the largest supplier of metal tanks to the U.S., comprising 37% of total imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Canada ($181M), with a 14% share of total imports. It was followed by Mexico, with an 11% share.

From 2013 to 2019, the average annual rate of growth in terms of value from China stood at +9.3%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: Canada (+0.2% per year) and Mexico (+9.8% per year).

Companies Mentioned in the Report

Enerfab, Inc., Paul Mueller Company, Caldwell Tanks, Inc., Modern Welding Company, Inc., Flexcon Industries, Inc., Imperial Industries, Inc., Walker Engineered Products, Taylor-Wharton International LLC, CST Industries, Inc., Permian Tank & Manufacturing, Nooter Construction, Inc., Polar Tank Trailer, Mid-State Tank Co., Fort Worth F and D Head Company, James Machine Works LLC, Rocky Mountain Fabrication, Phoenix Fabricators & Erectors, HMT LLC (Pasadena Tank Corporation), Washington Metal Fabricators (WMF), Truenorth Steel,  Arrow Tank and Engineering Co, Helgesen Industries, Mississippi Tank and Manufacturing Company, Alonso & Carus Iron Works, Cimarron Energy, Tankcraft Corporation, Highland Tank & Manufacturing Company, Inc.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform