Cleveland, Ohio -- Consumption of insulation materials in China is expected to grow 8.2 percent a year through 2013 to reach a value of RMB 35 700 million ($5227 million), according to a new market rweport from the Freedonia Group.
Advances will be driven by growth in building construction and expanding manufacturing activity, said Freedonia, adding that efforts to improve energy efficiency in manufacturing processes, as well as in heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC), will also contribute to insulation demand.
These and other trends are presented in Insulation in China, a new study from the Beijing office of the Cleveland, Ohio-based industry research firm.
According to Freedonia, foamed plastic is expected to continue to dominate the insulation market and post the fastest growth through 2013. Foamed plastic generally offers higher thermal resistance (R-values per metre) than fibreglass, mineral wool, perlite and vermiculite. Producing foamed plastic insulation is also "relatively inexpensive in China due to an abundance of the required resins," Freedonia said. Demand for fiberglass and mineral wool will also remain healthy as the Chinese economy continues to expand.
Freedonia predicts the fastest growth in non-residential building construction, where insulation materials will benefit from strong fixed investment activity in office, commercial and institutional facilities.
Demand for residential insulation will be driven by healthy new housing starts, especially for multifamily structures, as well as by rising concerns about energy efficiency.
Consumption of insulation in the industrial and HVAC equipment market will be aided by ongoing industrialisation in China, with continued efforts to improve energy efficiency in manufacturing and in climate control of buildings, the report adds.
The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market for insulation will be boosted by growing production of major household appliances and motor vehicles.
China's trade surplus in insulation reached RMB 1600 million in 2008, with major export destinations including Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Freedonia said exports will be fuelled by further growth in local production and improvements in technology. But also, the group notes, higher business incomes and revaluation of the currency will help make foreign-made products more affordable - "although above-average product prices will prevent imports from climbing at a faster rate."