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World geosynthetics demand to surpass 5 billion square meters in 2017

News | January 7, 2014 | By:

Market report cites construction growth and environmental concerns.

Global demand for geosynthetics is expected to rise 8.9 percent per year to 5.2 billion square meters (6.22 billion square yards) in 2017.

That projection comes from the recently published (December 2013) World Geosynthetics, a study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

According to a Freedonia press release, these gains will result from “a much improved environment for the construction of structures and roads. Additional growth will be driven by increased market penetration, stimulated by growing concerns regarding environmental protection and greater awareness of the performance advantages of these products in a variety of applications.”

The release noted that the construction market accounted for about one-third of global geosynthetics sales in 2012. In addition to being the largest, this [construction] market is projected to register the fastest gains through 2017.

These and other trends are offered by Freedonia analyst Pam Safarak: “In 2012, the Asia/Pacific region surpassed North America to become the largest regional market for geosynthetics, with 35 percent of the global total.”

The press release continued: “Advances in the region will be propelled by the rapidly developing Chinese market, which will account for roughly three-quarters of the regional sales in 2017 and over half of additional global volume demand through 2017.

“India is also expected to post double-digit annual growth through 2017, although from a much smaller base. In many of the least developed countries, however, growth for geosynthetics will be more limited due to inadequate government funding, a lack of regulations that require their use, and the presence of lower-cost alternatives such as natural fiber geotextiles and aggregates.”

The Freedonia press release stated that in 2012, North America was the second-largest regional geosynthetics market, accounting for 28 percent of global sales. The U.S. is the world’s largest national market, alone accounting for 23 percent of global demand in 2012.

The position of the U.S. market reflects “the immense size and advanced nature of the country’s economy,” the release said, also stating: “In addition to its huge construction sector and extensive transportation infrastructure, the U.S. has relatively strict environmental control regulations regarding containment of waste and chemicals, all of these will continue to provide significant opportunities for geosynthetics through 2017.”

(million square meters)

Item 2007 2012 2017 2007-2012 (% Annual Growth) 2012-2017 (% Annual Growth)
Geosynthetic Demand 2801 3400 5200 4.0 8.9
North America 923 965 1300 0.9 6.1
Western Europe 668 615 725 -1.6 3.3
Asia/Pacific 723 1200 2330 10.7 14.2
Central & South America 124 160 220 5.2 6.6
Eastern Europe 248 305 405 4.2 5.8
Africa/Mideast 115 155 220 6.2 7.3

World Geosynthetics (published 12/2013, 462 pages) is available for $6,100 from The Freedonia Group Inc.

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