Bright prospects for PVC demand in global construction sector in 2010

02-Feb-10
As housing starts begin to pick up after the recession, the future of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in global construction looks brighter heading into 2010, according to ChemSystems. High consumption growth in populous nations such as China and India will make Asia the major driver of global PVC consumption growth. Also, market growth in Mexico and a recovery in the US demand will support future growth rates in North America. Western Europe will show the lowest growth, due to the already high per capita consumption, and low GDP growth outlook. Growth in Eastern Europe and the Middle East is running at very high rates due to oil wealth, while demand in South America will benefit from high GDP growth and infrastructure development. Although the ongoing PVC capacity development in China and the Middle East is unprecedented, rapid growth of demand will nevertheless outpace this development. The emerging middle class in many Asian countries led to a vast expansion of housing and urban infrastructure, driving PVC consumption growth at double-digit rates in regions such as China. The current spate of projects will not be sufficient to meet demand growth, and therefore the region will remain a net importer for much of the outlook period. The low pricing of PVC will help keep the material popular in the construction industry, despite environmental and safety issues that have negatively affected overall PVC consumption in the past. Several countries have legislated against the use of plasticised PVC in children's toys, and consumption in food packaging has also declined, although more as a result of better cost-performance of other polymers. In addition, some substitution by polyolefins in cable and wire applications and certain construction uses have eased growth in some segments. However, the cost competitiveness of PVC in the key construction sector growth is expected to sustain growth. As housing starts begin to pick up after the recession, the future of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in global construction looks brighter heading into 2010, according to ChemSystems. High consumption growth in populous nations such as China and India will make Asia the major driver of global PVC consumption growth. Also, market growth in Mexico and a recovery in the US demand will support future growth rates in North America. Western Europe will show the lowest growth, due to the already high per capita consumption, and low GDP growth outlook. Growth in Eastern Europe and the Middle East is running at very high rates due to oil wealth, while demand in South America will benefit from high GDP growth and infrastructure development. Although the ongoing PVC capacity development in China and the Middle East is unprecedented, rapid growth of demand will nevertheless outpace this development. The emerging middle class in many Asian countries led to a vast expansion of housing and urban infrastructure, driving PVC consumption growth at double-digit rates in regions such as China. The current spate of projects will not be sufficient to meet demand growth, and therefore the region will remain a net importer for much of the outlook period. The low pricing of PVC will help keep the material popular in the construction industry, despite environmental and safety issues that have negatively affected overall PVC consumption in the past. Several countries have legislated against the use of plasticised PVC in children's toys, and consumption in food packaging has also declined, although more as a result of better cost-performance of other polymers. In addition, some substitution by polyolefins in cable and wire applications and certain construction uses have eased growth in some segments. However, the cost competitiveness of PVC in the key construction sector growth is expected to sustain growth.
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