GMA update

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  • The U.S./Canadian Geosynthetics Market

    Sponsored by IFAI Market Research

    The use of geosynthetics—geotextiles, geomembranes, drainage composites and geogrids—is an annual growth market in the U.S./Canadian specialty fabrics industry.

    Prior to 2009, the U.S./Canadian geosynthetics market grew 5 to 6 percent per year before the economic debacle of 2009. In 2009, the use of geosynthetics declined about 5 percent in the U.S. and Canada; but growth rebounded to about 2 percent in 2010.

    Developments driving optimism in the U.S. market for geosynthetics include:

    • The U.S. EPA announcing in the spring of 2010 that it plans to regulate coal ash containment sites, requiring that all sites be fitted with liners (geomembranes); the result translates to $300-$350 million for the geosynthetic industry over the next 5-7 years
    • Improving U.S. GDP growth to 2.8 percent in 2010 after achieving an abysmal negative 2.6 percent in 2009; U.S. GDP for 2011 is projected to reach 3.3 to 3.6 percent

    Constraining growth:

    • Continued high unemployment in the U.S., which averaged 9.6 percent in 2010
    • Rising oil prices in 2010 and 2011 will continue to lead to higher prices for raw materials such as polypropylene, polyethylene, etc.
    • Local government reduced budgets that curtail funds available for geosynthetic usage in key markets like road and bridge construction

    The 2010 U.S./Canadian geosynthetics market improved moderately in terms of sales and general business conditions. The majority of geosynthetic suppliers/distributors are optimistic that 2011 will yield increased sales and an overall improvement in general business conditions.

    This information is taken from the 2011 MarketWatch Geosynthetics Snapshot. For the full report visit the IFAI bookstore: