The impact of COVID on the commercial market make a dent in the world structured cabling market, but with a recovery expected by 2023 and data centres performing well.
BSRIA has recently published 16 structured cabling reports on the global structured cabling markets for 2020. The new reports shed light on USA, Brazil, Mexico, China, HK & Macao, Japan, India, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, UAE, Saudi Arabia and South Africa cabling markets, for both local area networks (LAN) and data centre (DC) applications.
Despite not being researched in depth, a further 17 countries have been updated at top-line level to reflect the impact of the pandemic, including a forecast until 2025. This second group includes: Colombia, South Korea, Switzerland, Spain, Norway, Finland, Denmark, South East Asia - Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines -, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Poland, Chile and Peru.
The global structured cabling market decreased by 8% in 2020. Although most markets were affected by the crisis, a considerable number suffered double-digit losses, others were less affected sliding below average and a handful even managed to grow slightly, despite the pandemic.
Markets in developing economies were hit harder by the crisis, which affected both their economies and cabling markets. This was the case for Latin American countries, India and South Africa, among others.
North America also performed worse than average. In Europe and Asia-Pacific there was a mixed outcome (with countries contracting at high double-digit figures and few others flat or expanding slightly). Middle East was not immune to the crisis, although the region performed above average.
The impact of the pandemic in 2020 varied depending on a number of factors including: the government management of the pandemic, the level of restrictions and length of lockdowns, the share of the industrial and service sectors, the share of the informal economy and the ability of the population to carry out remote working. As these percentage changes are measured in US dollars, currency depreciation in emerging economies also played a major role in the market contraction.
For the next two years (2021/22) BSRIA anticipates healthy growth rates, although the market will not have fully recovered its 2019 levels before 2023.
At a global level, the LAN market was the main segment driving the contraction, shaken by delays and even cancellation of projects. Day-to-day work was severely reduced, hampered by government restrictions too. The predicted recovery of the LAN market will slow (2.4% CAGR over the 2020-2025 period), affected by lower investments in real estate due to high vacancy rates in retail and office space. Consequently, we do not expect the LAN market to fully recover before 2025.
The data centre segment performed better than LAN in 2020 and remained fairly flat. Demand increased in most countries in 2020, but lockdowns and social distancing measures caused disruption and delays in the projects. The segment is already expected to have fully recovered in 2021 and BSRIA anticipates the DC market to grow 4.6% on average yearly, over the forecast period (2020-2025). Colocation and cloud data centres are driving demand globally with positive outlooks for all regions in 2021 and 2022.
With fibre accounting for 80% of all cabling installed in data centres, fibre cabling is expected to continue to gain market share.
Although all copper cabling categories saw a contraction in 2020, sales of Cat 6A declined less than others, increasing its market share from 34% to 36% in 2020. This trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
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