Global demand for cast polymers is forecast to rise 7.9 percent annually to 252 million square meters in 2016. Nearly 60 percent of projected growth will be attributable to China, a country with a quickly developing domestic cast polymer industry and a considerable construction sector. Growing populations and ongoing economic advances in China and other developing countries such as India will continue to create the need for large numbers of modern housing units and nonresidential facilities, providing opportunities for surface materials such as cast polymers. Market gains will also be aided by a recovery of new housing construction in the US and other developed countries from low 2011 bases. In addition to favorable macroeconomic trends, cast polymers will benefit from increased market penetration throughout the world. These and other trends, including market share and product segmentation, are presented in World Solid Surface & Other Cast Polymers, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
Solid surface accounted for 59 percent of global sales in 2011. Over 70 percent of solid surface materials were sold in the Asia/Pacific region, where they are generally low-cost options. Less expensive, but less durable gel-coated composites, including cultured marble, cultured onyx, and cultured granite, are projected to see more modest gains through 2016. Engineered stone accounted for the second largest share -- 25 percent -- of the cast polymer market in 2011, up from 16 percent in 2006, when it comprised the smallest share. Intense marketing strategies (such as in Australia) highlighting engineered stone’s advantages over natural stone and China’s rapidly increasing output of relatively low-cost versions have promoted its use. Engineered stone is expected to achieve the fastest gains of all cast polymers through 2016.
The largest regional market for cast polymers in 2011 was the Asia/Pacific region, with 63 percent of the global total. Four of the top five consuming countries of cast polymers -- China, India, Japan, and South Korea -- are located in the region. Advances in this region will be primarily driven by China, which will account for nearly 70 percent of the region’s cast polymer sales in 2016. India is also expected to see strong gains as it continues to develop its housing and nonresidential sectors. In 2011, Western Europe and North America each accounted for about ten percent of the global market. Cast polymer demand in these two regions will benefit from economic improvements and a rebound in building construction expenditures through 2016.
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.