Asia-Pacific Continues to Drive Global Demand for Flat Glass
Worldwide demand for flat glass is forecast to expand 5% annually through 2020.
Worldwide demand for flat glass is forecast to expand 5% annually through 2020 to 9.6 billion square meters, valued at $94 billion, according to a recent study from The Freedonia Group. The pace of gains will decelerate relative to the 2010-2015 period, primarily due to a marked slowdown in China, by far the largest national market for flat glass, where building construction spending is forecast to decelerate significantly through 2020. However, continued growth in motor vehicle production and manufacturing output will support demand, and China is expected to continue to be among the world’s fastest-growing markets for flat glass going forward.
The Asia-Pacific region was the largest regional market for flat glass in 2015, accounting for over half of global demand in value terms. The region is expected to also see the fastest gains through 2020, benefiting from the presence of the five fastest-growing national markets for flat glass worldwide: India, Indonesia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam. “Within the Asia-Pacific region, China is the dominant flat glass consumer, representing 64% of the regional total on a value basis in 2015,” said Allison Blackburn, analyst.
Gains in demand for flat glass in North America and Europe will be constrained by the shifting dynamics of global manufacturing, as producers of a variety of glass-consuming products are expected to increase operations in developing regions. As a result, increased manufacturing output and investment in commercial facilities will allow demand for flat glass in Central and South America and the Africa/Mideast region to grow faster than in North America and Europe through 2020.
Demand for flat glass in the solar energy market is expected to be particularly fast, as many countries increase investment in renewable energy. Solar energy applications accounted for 200 million square meters of flat glass consumption in 2015, a figure that is expected to triple by 2020. Demand for flat glass in the motor vehicle market is expected to post the slowest gains.
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