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Sales of flat glass will benefit from government spending initiatives, many of which were designed to offset the effects of the global economic downturn. In addition, ongoing industrialization, rising income levels, further population and household growth, and expanding motor vehicle production will fuel flat glass sales in China through the forecast period.
The flat glass industry will be marked by two major trends over the next decade. First, demand for float glass will grow rapidly at the expense of lower-quality sheet glass. Second, high-value fabricated glass such as safety glass and insulating glass will increasingly be used by consumers in place of lower-value unfabricated glass.
Unfabricated float glass will remain the largest product category through 2013, with demand growing 8.3% annually to 1.5 billion square meters. Advances will be spurred by healthy growth in building construction activity, especially in rural areas, and relatively low product prices. However, unfabricated float glass will lose market share to fabricated flat glass as income levels in China grow.
Demand for safety glass is projected to advance 13.2% per year to 335 million square meters by 2013, benefiting from rising income levels and expanding building stock. Moreover, strong growth in motor vehicle and furniture production will also stimulate new safety glass sales. Demand for insulating glass is forecast to grow 11.8% annually through 2013, boosted by healthy growth in construction of residential and commercial buildings, schools and hospitals.
Demand for other fabricated flat glass products is expected to expand at the fastest pace. Product gains will be driven by rising numbers of new nonresidential buildings (e.g., offices, banks, luxury hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, schools, museums and theaters), fast growth in the production of large LCD TV and other electronic displays, and growing output of solar cells.
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