Ceramic Industry

Freedonia Group Publishes Report on Flat Glass Demand in China (posted 12/20/07)

December 20, 2007

Demand for flat glass in China is expected to climb 8.6% per year through 2011 to 2.2 billion square meters. Measured in value, flat glass demand will expand 15% per year to ¥117.5 billion (~ $15.9 billion), driven by a shift in the mix toward higher-value fabricated glass in many applications.

The Chinese flat glass market will outpace growth in all other parts of the world, driven by healthy gains in building construction activity as industrialization efforts continue and income levels rise. Government efforts to further increase average per capita living space, sustain strength in foreign direct investment, quicken growth in motor vehicle production and stimulate product innovation in the electronic display industry will also contribute to flat glass gains.

These and other trends are presented in Flat Glass in China, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc. Primary flat glass -- including float glass, drawn glass and rolled glass -- accounted for four-fifths of overall Chinese flat glass demand in 2006 when measured in square meters. Float glass, the largest primary flat glass segment, will continue to make inroads against drawn and rolled glass, and will comprise 87% of total demand in 2011. Gains will be driven by improving product quality, healthy growth in building construction and continuing direct foreign investment.

Growth in drawn and rolled glass production will be dampened by the Chinese government’s efforts to shut down old, inefficient and low-quality sheet glass furnaces, and by the growing preference for higher-quality float glass in construction applications. Fabricated flat glass encompasses insulating glass, tempered glass, laminated glass, mirrors and other specialty products, and accounted for over 19% of overall Chinese flat glass demand in volume terms in 2006. Demand for fabricated flat glass will account for more than 27% of overall flat glass demand.

The architectural market is the largest outlet for flat glass, accounting for 86% of total demand by area in 2006. Gains will be spurred by ongoing government efforts to increase private home ownership, further growth in the average size of new homes and continuing foreign investment. The smaller electronic display flat glass market will expand at the fastest pace through 2011, driven by strong increases in computer and television monitor output, product innovation, and growth in personal income levels. Demand for flat glass in the motor vehicle market will also post above-average gains due to strong growth in motor vehicle production and in the number of vehicles in use.

For additional details regarding Flat Glass in China (207 pages, $4900), call (440) 684-9600, fax (440) 646-0484 or visit www.freedoniagroup.com.