Ceresana Research: New Market Study Expandable Polystyrene

The newest study from Ceresana Research covers the plastic, expanded polystyrene (EPS). Due to its technical characteristics, such as its light weight, rigidity and excellent formability, this material can be found in a wide range of applications: insulation against heat, sound, and cold, as well as in the packaging industry, and in leisure and sporting goods.

The construction industry is the largest EPS market, with a worldwide share of just less than 60%. This sector‘s importance will continue increasing in the future. Manufacturing of products for the construction industry will most likely account for 66% of EPS demand in 2016.

After EPS revenue had increased at an average rate of 7.3% per year between 2000 and 2008, market value fell to roughly 4.3 billion € in 2009. Price decreases caused revenue to fall by up to one third in certain regions. However, we expect that the 2008 level will be seen again in 2012.

The primary reasons for this are consumption increases in China, as well as foreseeable price increases starting in 2010. Positive demand impulses exist in saturated markets, as a result of government measures to increase the energy efficiency in new buildings and especially in old building renovations. These measures compensate the declining construction industry in many European countries, so that we can expect growth in EPS demand here again in 2010. Nevertheless, consumption in Western Europe and North America during 2016 will most likely remain below levels seen in 2008.

EPS production in Eastern Europe and the Asian-Pacific is exhibiting very dynamic development. We anticipate seeing an compound annual growth rate of 7.1% in Eastern Europe and 5.9% in Asia, until 2016. Japan and South Korea are the exception here, and will most likely see decreases in production. Capacities in China will grow by more than 750,000 tons, while Eastern Europe will see an increase of just less than 350,000 tons.

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