Cast polymer market: On the upswing

Postrecession, this commodity industry is emerging stronger and going global as competitive pressures encourage innovation.

The global demand for cast polymer materials used in residential and commercial construction is substantial. According to a recent study by the Freedonia Group (Cleveland, Ohio), the cast polymer market is forecast to grow by 8.1 percent per year, to 263 million m2 (2.83 billion ft2) per annum by 2016, with more than half the demand attributable to Asia (especially China). Market gains will be boosted by growth in the U.S., in both its new housing and remodeling sectors, as well as expansion expected in Europe, Australia and Japan, says Freedonia.

In 2016, kitchen and bath countertops are expected to account for 86 percent of cast polymer demand. Although new housing starts will provide the most rapid gains, the majority of the demand, says Freedonia, will come from home remodeling and institutional projects, such as hospitals and schools. In the U.S., the National Kitchen and Bath Assn. (NKBA, Hackettstown, N.J.) reports that cast polymer surfaces continue to be key kitchen and bath components, and their share in each sector is trending upward in competition with granite and engineered stone.

This remarkable uptrend, however, comes on the heels of what industry veteran Charles Martin, a sales manager at resin supplier CCP Composites (Kansas City, Mo.), calls “a perfect storm” that hit manufacturers since CT last covered this topic (see the titles lsited under “Editor’s Picks,” at top right).

Read the full article: