Asphalt market to rebound

By Sarah Ann McCay28 February 2012

The world market for asphalt is forecast to grow +4.1% annually over the next five years to 119.5 million tonnes by 2015.

According to figures from research company Freedonia, 2010 to 2015 will see resurgence in the use of asphalt, following weak demand in 2005 to 2010. High petroleum prices combined with economic weakness and declining construction activity resulted in a drop in consumption in many of the world's most developed asphalt markets over the 2005 to 2010 period.

However, a rebound is expected through 2015. Paving products accounted for nearly 80% of total asphalt demand in 2010 and this is a trend that looks set to continue.

The North American market is expected to expand +6.5% a year to 36.6 million tonnes in 2015. Demand will be driven by the recovering US economy and increasing construction activity in the country. The country's large road network makes it a significant consumer of primary asphalt and it will therefore maintain its dominant position in the asphalt market.

Infrastructure development programmes in China and India will continue to drive strong growth in the Asia Pacific region. The region will see the second highest growth in demand globally at +4.7% a year through to 2015.

Asia Pacific will be the largest asphalt consumer in the world with an annual demand of 38.4 million tonnes by 2015. China alone will account for nearly 20% of global asphalt demand in 2015.

Consumption of asphalt in Western Europe is forecast to increase +1.8% annually through 2015 to over 22 million tonnes. However, thanks to its established infrastructure, the region will construct new roads at one of the slowest paces in the world.

According to Freedonia, Western Europe will post the slowest growth for asphalt consumed in roofing markets, reflecting the slowest regional growth in building construction spending.

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