Fluid Power Shipments Decreased in April 2024

June 13, 2024
Data from the National Fluid Power Association shows hydraulic and pneumatic shipments are on a downward trend.

Order and shipment data from the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) shows total fluid power shipments fell 0.4% on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis in April 2024. The association's 12/12 rates of change data indicates shipments for total fluid power, hydraulics and pneumatics are trending downwards. 

Pneumatic shipments, however, remained in positive territory in April on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis indicating there could be some opportunity still in this portion of the fluid power market. 

The downward trends in shipments for fluid power components is not surprising given the slower economic conditions expressed by many of the industry's customer segments as well as general uncertainty about the global economy as a whole. 

A recent report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), for instance, shows slower growth is anticipated for the agricultural and construction equipment sectors — two of the largest customer markets for fluid power, particularly mobile hydraulics.

For the agriculture industry, rising inventory levels and excess supply of major commodities are factors leading to lower equipment demand and sales. High interest rates and labor challenges are factors negatively impacting the construction sector according to AEM, but infrastructure investments and the energy sector are providing some future optimism.

Manufacturing, another key customer segment for hydraulics and pneumatics, is forecast to be flat in 2024. Economic uncertainty and high interest rates are plaguing this sector as well, causing a decline in new orders for many. However, market insights firm Interact Analysis is predicting that once inflation and interest rates are lowered, likely late in 2024, there should be an upturn in market conditions from 2025 and beyond. 

The general consensus, which the fluid power and its customer markets are so far demonstrating, is that 2024 will be a slower year economically before returing to a growth period in 2025.

READ MORE: 2024 Recession Presents Fluid Power Industry Opportunities for Investment

The above charts are supplied by NFPA and drawn from data collected from more than 70 manufacturers of fluid power products by NFPA’s Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) program.

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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