Strong Q1 performance in welding markets


There was a strong picture for gas and welding distributors in the first quarter of 2023, with conditions looking robust by most measures. Pricing was higher for welding hardgoods (up 4.6% quarter-over-quarter) and gases (up 6.1% – the same increase as was reported in Q4 2022 versus Q3), while hardgoods volumes were up by a striking 6.8% and gases by 5.4%.

The findings come from the results of the Baird/gasworld Q1 2023 Welding and Industrial Gas Survey, which collated the views of 22 executives at industrial, scientific, and welding gas/hardgoods distributors and manufacturers with combined annualized revenues of around $3.9bn. Respondents this time around were distributed across the US, with minimal operations in Canada (the database of possible respondents is more evenly balanced).

The figures and strong sentiment on show for Q1 are driving improved Q2 and full-year expectations for both hardgoods and gas sales. While respondents do expect growth to moderate as the year unfolds, the sentiment captured in the Q1 survey is for a further 6.3% increase in hardgoods sales in Q2 and an 8.5% increase in gas sales. Full-year expectations after Q1 are for a full-year uplift of 8.3% for hardgoods year-over-year and for gases sales to be up by 6.3% on the prior year come end-December.

All these figures are in the context of the current inflationary environment, it should be noted.

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