Global asphalt demand hits new high
London, March 2, 2014
World demand for asphalt is projected to rise 3.6 per cent annually through 2017 from a weak 2012 base to 121 million metric tons (734 million barrels), said a report.
Mature asphalt markets in developed nations, which declined between 2007 and 2012, will recover steadily, though in most cases demand will not regain 2007 levels over the next three years, stated a new study from The Freedonia Group, a US-based industry market research firm.
The Asia/Pacific region has overtaken North America as the largest regional market for asphalt and will continue to record the fastest advances through 2017, driven primarily by strong growth in China and India, the Freedonia Group stated in its 'World Asphalt' report.
The paving products account for about four-fifths of global asphalt demand in 2012, it added.
China alone accounts for over 20 per cent of the global market and is expected to surpass the US as the world’s leading asphalt consumer by 2017, said the report.
However, the growth in China will decelerate as massive national infrastructure programs give way to smaller projects and road maintenance. In contrast, India is expected to continue with large public works projects which are necessary for the country’s continued economic development, it stated.
Growth is also expected to be strong in other developing Asian countries where large public works projects are planned, the report added.
According to analyst Mariel Behnke, “Gains will be driven by especially strong growth in consumption in China and other developing countries as they work to improve their transportation infrastructures.”
North America is a major asphalt consumer due to the need for maintenance on the massive regional network of roads and highways. The
demand for asphalt in the US will rebound from the sharp declines in the 2007-2012 period, driven by stronger economic growth and increased construction activity, though demand in 2017 is expected to remain below the 2007 level, the the Freedonia Group said in a report.
The US and Canada are significant consumers of asphalt for roofing products. Recovery in asphalt demand in Western Europe will be driven by increased expenditures on road maintenance and repair applications after years of very low spending on infrastructure improvements.
The report pointed out that many countries have road repair backlogs, which will bolster demand for asphalt. "However, while demand for asphalt will register respectable growth through 2017, gains will not make up for the declines seen in the 2007-2012 period," the report added.-TradeArabia News Service