Global demand for cast polymers is forecast to increase at an annual rate of 8.7% through 2014, driven mainly by thriving construction markets in developing countries, as per Freedonia Group. Annual cast polymers demand was projected to reach 256 mln sq mts by 2014, with more than 180 mln sq mts (70%) in Asia Pacific markets. Demand in the US and Western Europe was expected to rise with the recovery of the housing market, but the fastest growth was forecast in countries like China, India and Brazil. Solid surface products, which incorporate either unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), account for 65% of global cast polymer sales. The remaining cast polymer market is made up of engineered stone and gelcoat composites, which also use UPR, PMMA or epoxy resins, but with different manufacturing techniques. Cast polymer growth in Asian markets has benefited from the rapid emergence of low-cost manufacturers in the region, who are focusing on the export market.