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Relays sales shrank in 2012, but will recover in 2013

17 June, 2013

After two years of double-digit growth, the global market for electromechanical and solid-state relays dropped by $125m (3.6%) last year to around $3.35bn, according to a new report from IMS Research, now part of IHS.

This is the first decline in sales since 2009, when the market plummeted by more than 25%. The drop in 2012 was much smaller, both in size and duration, and IHS expects growth to return to all regions during 2013, with global revenues rising by 5.2% to reach $3.54bn.

The Emea (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region showed the sharpest decline last year, with revenues down by 6.2 %, compared to 2.9% in the Americas. The largest reversal occurred in Asia-Pacific, where a surge in sales of more than 24% during 2011 was followed by a 2% decline in 2012.

“Asian-based relay manufacturers were reporting domestic sales growth of more than 40% in Asia during 2011, which was far higher than in recent years,” says IHS switchgear analyst, Robert Carter. “However, as industry levels cooled in 2012, particularly in China, demand fell so that this unprecedented growth was then followed by a decrease of up to 15% for these same companies.”

He does not expect the market downturn to last long. After growth returns during 2013, it will stabilise at around 2–3% in both EMEA and the Americas, and 6–8% in the Asia-Pacific region. By 2017, the global market for relays will be worth almost $4.5bn.

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