In a continuation of the trend seen overall the last couple of decades, demand will easily outpace real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) gains in the global economy. Gains in the dominant building construction market will be driven by a significant acceleration in building construction activity. The global market value of fabricated flat glass is forecast to reach $90 billion in 2016. These and other trends are presented in World Flat Glass, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
The Asia/Pacific region, which accounted for 60 percent of global flat glass demand (on a square meter basis) in 2011, will continue to post the fastest gains through 2016. Gains in China, the region’s dominant national market, will slow in comparison to the pace of the 2006-2011 period, but remain well above the world average. Demand in Japan will improve significantly, based on recovering domestic building construction and motor vehicle markets.
The US market for flat glass will recover strongly based on a healthy rebound in the country’s building construction sector. Despite positive economic growth in 2010 and 2011 after a major recession, US building construction witnessed further declines in both those years. However, some recovery occurred in 2012, and it appears that the worst is over. Demand for flat glass in Western Europe will experience modest gains. A slow growing population combined with a stagnant motor vehicle industry will limit growth. A number of float glass plants in the region closed in 2012, suggesting that major glassmakers are shifting focus elsewhere.
Fabricated flat glass demand will benefit from rapid growth in sales of energy efficient products such as solar control, insulation, and low-E glass. The solar energy market, which was hurt by recent global economic weaknesses, will take off briskly once again. It should be noted, however, that demand for flat glass used in solar energy applications totaled just around 120 million square meters in 2011, so this is a niche market.
© 2013 by The Freedonia Group, Inc.
World Flat Glass (published 01/2013, 374 pages) is available for $6400 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 440.646.0484 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Information may also be obtained through www.freedoniagroup.com.
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