Stainless steel, gold, silver and copper, or stainless steel for short, are the three metals used in the manufacture of forks and wheels, forks and rims.
However, the manufacture and sale of stainless steel forks and wheel bearings have been restricted to India and China, for reasons ranging from safety concerns, to the lack of a wide market for the metals.
As per a recent report, the number of Indian manufacturers of fork and wheel bearing has fallen by more than 80 per cent from last year, to about 2,200, compared to the 3,000 that were produced in the previous fiscal year.
It is expected that the country will overtake China and India as the top producer of fork bearings, as the country overtakes China for the third consecutive year, and India overtakes the US in terms of production, said Vishnu Ranganathan, head of market analysis at Euromonitor International, a market research company.
India currently accounts for about two-thirds of all the world’s fork bearings sold.
India’s fork bearing market, according to Euromonitors, grew from $4.5 billion in 2016 to $12.3 billion in 2019, while its fork-to-wheel component market grew from 7,000 to 18,000 units.
According to the Indian Fork Bearing Association (IFBA), there are over 7,800 forks and bearings made in India.
This represents about 35 per cent of the worldwide fork market.
It’s estimated that more than 60 per cent or 1.2 billion forks are manufactured in India, according the IFAB.
According to the IFEB, the world-wide fork market is worth $1.7 trillion, with the US and China accounting for about $1 trillion and $1,500 billion respectively.
The IFABA’s annual report states that the main reasons for the slowdown in Indian fork manufacturing are increased awareness and increased use of industrial machines.
The decline in the production of fork- to-wheel components in India was due to the decline in sales of fork bearing products in India due to various reasons, including increasing awareness of the importance of fork safety and quality, and the increase in awareness of fork manufacturers, the report added.