Irrespective of the ban that is to be imposed on polyvinyl chloride (PVC), alternative material developers are optimistic about the development of newer alternatives to flexible PVC. Such a trend is expected to increase the availability of options to customers. Alternative material developers also find it economical to operate a 100 mln pound capacity plant of polyolefins and TPEs. Being competitive in the industry provides incentives to manufacturers of smaller polyolefin producers working towards developing new products. The cost per unit of manufacturing polyolefins and alternative materials is beneficial compared to PVC, providing substantial savings at end-user levels. As per Global Industry Analysts, worldwide Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) consumption totaled an estimated 34.9 mln metric tons in 2007 and is projected to reach 42.7 mln metric tons by the end of 2012. China is the largest regional market with an estimated share of 30.17% in 2008 and is poised to be the fastest growing market, with consumption growing at a CAGR of 10.6% over the years 2001 through 2010. Wire and Cable Coatings is projected to be the fastest growing segment at a CAGR of 5.17% during the period 2001-2010, while construction is poised to be the largest segment with estimated consumption totaling 22.63 mln metric tons in 2008.
The declining US housing market is exerting an impact on the country's PVC demand. The fall in demand can also be attributed, though partially, to rising imports of finished goods. Though the demand is likely to rise with the recovery of the housing market, recovering the market share that is lost to other products is a difficult proposition. The US economy is pushing towards the edge of recession, as the housing market becomes more fragile. However, the country is expected to recover by the year 2009, provided definite growth in other areas. The recession would have an impact also on the pricing of the houses.