The wire and cable industry is going through a diverse phase in different regions of the world. The presence of developed countries in North America and Europe have made them mature regions of the wire and cable market. On the other hand, developing countries in Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa that are undergoing new residential and commercial infrastructure development and a corresponding expansion in power networks are driving the global wire and cable market. The market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period to reach US$ 235.9 Bn by 2026.
Increase in global population and urbanization are resulting in development of new residential and commercial properties. According to United Nations Organization, around 54.5% of the global population lived in urban settlements in 2016, and by 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60% of people globally, and 1 in every 3 people will live in cities. Branch circuit wiring is used in every building to carry electrical current to all external uses of power. Also, new power transmission network is required for newly constructed residential and commercial buildings. Moreover, increasing government initiatives for the renewal of existing power transmission and distribution network is further speeding up the expansion of wire and cable market due to urbanization.
The transport industry has also been favorably influenced by rising urbanization and globalization. Transport systems that enable mobility make use of several wires such as brake wires, clutch wires, gear wires, accelerator wires, etc. Technological advancements and increasing disposable income of consumers have resulted in increased spending on automobiles that offer safety, comfort, and stylish features. This has led to high production of autonomous driving vehicles and intelligent networking of vehicles.
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These vehicles incorporate reliable and fast transmission of large data volumes between control units, sensors, and vehicle components and thus require high quality special cables and safe wiring architectures. Therefore, in order to cater to demand from the automobile industry, companies are further developing fail-safe wiring & cabling system architectures, thereby aiding the expansion of the wire and cable market.
Apart from urbanization, industrialization is another key factor directly affecting the wire and cable market. The demand for flexibility and customization of wires and cables is increasing within several industries owing to the growing complexity of product manufacturing. Moreover, rising demand for electricity, particularly in developing and underdeveloped countries, due to rapid industrialization and the increasing usage of renewable energy for the same are facilitating rise in use of wires and cables in industries.
In the global wire and cable industry, copper is expected to be the most preferred material across the world. Although aluminum is expected to substitute copper in a few applications, it is anticipated to maintain its dominance in buildings and power transmission and distribution networks that make up more than half of the global wire and cable revenue. High electrical conductivity, durability, ability to undergo stress with minimum signs of wear and tear, and superior ductile and tensile strength make copper an irreplaceable material in the wire and cable industry.
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In terms of type, the optical fiber cable is expected to be largely adopted owing to its advantages such as high bandwidth, resistance to electromagnetic interference, low security risk, and low power loss in long distance communication. Rapid developments in communication technology have led to increased demand for high-performance data and communication applications. As a result, wire & cables manufacturers have been developing new products and systems that can adapt to their varying demands, thus offering numerous opportunities to the optical fiber cable segment.
Attracted by this expanding market and underlying latent demand, several players are expanding their business through strategic mergers and acquisitions and partnerships with several end-use industries. For instance, in December 2017, Prysmian group and General Cable Corporation, two leading wire and cable manufacturers announced a merger agreement and expect the deal to close by third quarter of 2018. Moreover, Southwire Co, LLC announced the expansion of DCN Cables, LLC to expand its product portfolio further. Some of the prominent players in the wire and cable market include Prysmian Group, Hengtong Optic-Electric Co Ltd., Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., General Cable Corporation, Jiagnan Group, TPC Wire & Cable Corp, LS Cable & System Ltd, Polycab Wires Private Limited, Southwire Company, LLC, Hitachi Metals Ltd, Nexans S.A., Leoni AG, and Far East Cable Co., Ltd.