Global consumption of asphalt is forecast to advance 4.1 percent annually from a very weak 2010 base to 119.5 million metric tons in 2015, equivalent to 725 million barrels of primary asphalt. High petroleum prices combined with economic weakness and declining construction activity resulted in a significant drop in consumption in many of the world’s most developed asphalt markets over the 2005 to 2010 period. Demand in these markets, including North America, Western Europe and Japan, is expected to rebound through 2015. Paving products accounted for nearly 80 percent of total asphalt demand in 2010. These and other trends, including market share and product segmentation, are presented in World Asphalt, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
Gains will be most rapid in North America, where the market for asphalt is expected to expand 6.5 percent per annum to 36.6 million metric tons in 2015. Demand for asphalt in both paving and roofing applications will be driven by the recovering US economy and increasing construction activity in the country. The region is a significant consumer of primary asphalt due to the size of the US and Canadian road networks and the dominant position of asphalt materials in the North American roofing market.
The massive infrastructure development programs in China and India, two of the world’s fastest growing economies, will continue to drive strong growth in the Asia/Pacific region. Since 2005, the region has become the largest market for asphalt. China alone will account for nearly one-fifth of global asphalt demand in 2015. Strong growth in asphalt markets in India and a moderate recovery in demand for asphalt in Japan will also contribute to gains.
Consumption of asphalt in Western Europe is forecast to increase 1.8 percent annually through 2015 to over 22 million metric tons. The region will construct new roads at one of the slowest paces in the world. Paving asphalt consumed in road repair and maintenance applications will account for the majority of gains. Western Europe will post the slowest growth in the world for asphalt consumed in roofing markets, reflecting the slowest regional growth in building construction spending.
The Freedonia Group is a leading international business research company, founded in 1985, that publishes more than 100 industry research studies annually. This industry analysis provides an unbiased outlook and a reliable assessment of an industry and includes product segmentation and demand forecasts, industry trends, demand history, threats and opportunities, competitive strategies, market share determinations and company profiles.