Emerging trends impacting the global geosynthetics market through 2020

The global geosynthetics market is expected to generate a revenue of US$12.8 bln by 2020, growing at a CAGR of over 10%, as per Technavio. According to Chandrakumar Badala Jaganathan, lead analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals research, “The rise in adoption of geosynthetics across the world has resulted in a steady growth of the market. The market growth in the developing countries of Central and South America, Europe, and APAC has risen due to the use of geosynthetics in infrastructure development projects such as construction and maintenance of the transport infrastructure (roadway and railway).” The top three emerging trends influencing the global geosynthetics market are: Rise in investments in R&D: As the global geosynthetics market is highly competitive, manufacturers are creating innovative geosynthetic products and are involved in exploring potential markets to enhance their market share. Considerable research is also being undertaken to use recycled raw materials in the manufacturing process of geosynthetics. For instance, Cellweb Tree Root Protection System offers a flexible and porous solution for shielding tree roots while producing a tough and stable stage when building vehicular access tracks. Many geosynthetics manufacturers are also providing solutions to landscape architects that will help them create carbon neutral solutions. For instance, geosynthetics such as geotextiles are used in the construction of geotextile wall systems, which can be used to keep plants in place. This can be against buildings or as standalone structures. As space in cities is decreasing and environmental awareness is increasing, these geotextiles wall systems and roof gardens are becoming popular methods to reduce carbon emissions. Increase in adoption of natural geotextiles: “The use of synthetic geotextiles is expensive and not feasible in emerging economies. In such cases, natural geotextiles serve as short-term reinforcements. Most emerging economies have an abundant supply of renewable raw materials,” says Chandrakumar. The use of biodegradable and eco-friendly geosynthetics is on the rise, particularly in emerging economies such as India and Brazil. Geosynthetics based on PP and polystyrene are non-biodegradable. They possess a longer life than the structures they are protecting, which adds to the cost. This has made manufacturers switch to cheaper eco-friendly alternatives for provisional applications. For instance, natural geosynthetics are used to control soil erosion only for a short duration, after which natural vegetation growth takes over. Natural fibers not only have the strength and durability sufficient for provisional applications but also do not have any long-term effect on the environment. Thus, the consumption of natural geosynthetics is expected to increase during the forecast period. Focus on M&A: Small and medium-sized geotextile manufacturers are active in manufacturing geosynthetics products to meet local demands. However, they lack the technology and equipment to manufacture geosynthetics that can be used in large national and international projects. As the global geosynthetics market is highly fragmented, the key players are merging and acquiring smaller players to increase their market share and improve their global presence. The M&A strategy will also help international players penetrate emerging markets such as in APAC and Central and South America, improve the manufacturer's efficiency, and diversify their product portfolio. Though there were few M&A in the past few years, this trend is anticipated to continue, especially in the high-growth areas of APAC and Central and South America.
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