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PU use in SE Asia is set to soar

By David Reed, UT EditorLondon-Better living standards and rising levels of car ownership are driving the use of polyurethanes in South East Asia and Australia, according to a recent report. And growth rates over the coming five years are expected to see total PU consumption for the region reach almost half a million tonnes by 2008, the report adds.In 2003, a total of 343 090 tonnes were used in the region covered by the report, which extends from Thailand down to Australia. As well as being the largest consumer of polyurethane-based products-accounting for 24 percent of the local market-Thailand is also the largest manufacturer of the basic raw materials in all areas except coatings, where Australia dominates, according to IAL Consultants Ltd, the London-based consultancy subsidiary of Reed Business Group. Australia’s 22-percent share of the market in 2003 amounts to over 75 480 tonnes, IAL says.The countries covered in the report, with percentage share of the market shown in brackets, also include Indonesia (11%), the Philippines (4%), Singapore (21%) and Malaysia (16%).The market is dominated by flexible foams, which account for almost two thirds of the business, the IAL data shows, with rigid foams adding a further 22 percent of the business, the rest being split between elastomers (8%), coatings (3%), and adhesives and sealants (5%).Growth prospects are expected to receive a boost when raw material capacities come on stream in China and South Korea in the next few years, IAL says. The average growth rate is likely to be 3.7 percent a year which would boost the total business in the region to 410 000 tonnes by 2008, the firm added. Growth in Australia is likely to be more modest, the consultancy group continues, a slowing in demand following the boost in polyurethane usage engendered by the Olympic Games in Sydney, IAL points out.The report, titled The Market For Polyurethane Chemicals and Products in Southeast Asia and Australia, is the first of a three-volume series covering the Asian polyurethane industry and markets. It has 143 pages, contains 109 tables and costs €3000 from IAL Consultants Ltd, at The other two volumes cover PU markets in Far East Asia and the Indian SubContinent. An Executive summary will also be available, along with all three volumes, price €6500, IAL adds.”



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