SOURCE: Freedonia Group, Inc.

August 20, 2007 11:32 ET

World Insulation Demand to Exceed 20 Billion Square Meters in 2011

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - August 20, 2007) - Worldwide consumption of thermal and acoustical insulation materials is projected to expand 3.6 percent per year through 2011 to 20.2 billion square meters of R-1 value. In dollar terms, demand for insulation materials will expand to more than $33 billion, reflecting both gains in volume demand and rising prices. The most rapid rates of growth will continue to be recorded in the developing countries of Asia, boosted by strong building construction activity and increasing production of products that incorporate insulation materials, such as refrigerators and freezers. In particular, building construction spending continues to expand rapidly in China, sparking very strong annual growth in the value of insulation demand through 2011. Demand for insulation in China will also benefit from government initiatives to encourage more energy-efficient building construction. In the other developing economies of Asia, rising living standards and increasing industrialization will support growing demand. These and other trends including market share and company profiles are presented in "World Insulation," a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

In the mature insulation markets of the industrialized countries of North America, Western Europe and Japan, growth will trail the world average. Slowing residential construction in the U.S. and Canada will limit insulation gains in new construction. However, a rebound in nonresidential construction and improvements in industrial and OEM markets will lead to an acceleration of insulation demand for North America through 2011. In Western Europe, insulation demand will accelerate from the 2001-2006 period as European Union directives on energy conservation spur demand for insulation in both new and retrofit building applications. An expanding Japanese economy will support increased demand for insulation in construction markets.

Foamed plastic insulation will continue to account for the largest portion of total demand in dollar terms through 2011. Economic expansion in the developing countries of Asia will raise demand for foamed plastic insulation in both building construction and in the production of household appliances. Fiberglass insulation, while becoming more widely used, will remain concentrated in the relatively slow-growing North American market. Other materials will continue to be niche products, finding use on the basis of their low cost or environmental advantages.

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