Dental equipment and supplies comprise various categories of goods widely used in professional dental care services, including dental drill engines, chairs, dental cements, and other dental fillings, as well as model paste and other instruments and appliances used in dentistry.
In 2015, the dental equipment and supplies market reached 4.6 billion USD, fluctuating considerably over the period under review. After a 5% fall in 2009, the market showed steady growth from 2010 to 2013, largely attributed to the economic recovery in the U.S. and the high demand for dental services, until it decreased by 14% in the following year. This decline was likely caused by oversaturation of the dental services market and a reduction in the number of clinics as a result of consolidation of hospitals, insurance companies, and private practices. However, the market bounced back in 2015, supported by strong consumer spending and the need for a gradual renewal of equipment at dental clinics. That same year the market grew by 6% compared to 2014, totaling 4.6 billion USD, which was slightly above the pre-crisis level of 2008.
Industry performance went generally in line with the market dynamics over the period under review. However, it should be noted that U.S. dental equipment industry was supported by strong exports. In 2015, exports accounted for 31% of U.S. dental equipment and supplies output. U.S. exports of dental equipment and supplies have experienced steady growth since 2009. Export growth rates were higher than those of production and consumption. As U.S. companies improved their positions on overseas markets, domestic manufacturers enjoyed a new growth driver.
In 2014, Canada (18%), Germany (12%), and Japan (11%) were the main export destinations of U.S. dental equipment and supplies. While the shares of Asian countries (Japan, the Republic of Korea, and China) increased, the shares of Canada and Germany illustrated negative dynamics throughout the reviewed period.
The U.S. was a net importer of dental equipment and supplies. In physical terms, imports consistently exceeded exports from 2008 to 2015. However, exports grew faster than imports on average over the period under review. The difference in the trade balance was less noticeable in value terms, due to high export prices.
Net U.S. imports of dental equipment and supplies have shown a slightly negative trend since 2008. In 2015, this industry had a trade deficit of 121 million USD, which was approximately 8% of gross imports. It is likely to continue growing in the years to come.
Imports contribute to approximately 22% of market volume and tend to grow. The expansion of imports is anticipated to increase at a slower pace over the next decade, compared with the previous ten years. It will still outpace production growth.
This ratio of exports to imports suggests that a significant share of dental supply output is exported at a higher price, while a significant share of domestic demand is met by relatively cheap imported products.
Germany, China, Switzerland, and Japan were the main suppliers of dental equipment and supplies into the U.S., with a combined 69% share of total U.S. imports in 2015. Among the leaders, China had the highest growth rates of imports between 2007 and 2014, with a CAGR of +8.7%. The shares of other major importers remained relatively stable throughout the reviewed period.
Overall, the dental equipment and supplies market is expected to continue with an upward consumption trend over the next six years. U.S. growth in consumption of dental equipment and supplies is expected to accelerate to +2.5% (currently +0.2%) in the medium term, amid the current economic recovery and growth in spending on medical services as a whole, and dental services in particular.
The continued strong employment growth has been the growth driver for the outlook, creating new income growth and a solid base of consumer spending. Improving disposable incomes and a recovering housing market will also make an impact on sales of dental equipment and supplies, as the new dental clinics are likely to be opened in local areas where new housing is being started. However, growth in consumption will be restrained by saturation from the dental services market, as well as a reduction in the number of clinics as a result of consolidation of hospitals, insurance companies, and private practices.
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