London – China and the US accounted for 60% of global spray polyurethane foam in 2018, according to a new report from IAL Consultants.
IAL said that total production was 600 kT in 2018. There are stark contrasts between the two large markets. In China, growth is stagnant, while the US market grew strongly.
Slower economic growth and lower levels of activity in the construction sector have hit the Chinese market. This is very price sensitive, and while many buildings are poorly insulated, end-users prefer cheaper materials such as EPS. In addition, the consultant added that the Chinese SPF market is fragmented with many regional players. These compete on price at the expense of quality, IAL said.
Growth is also slow in Western Europe, where volume and demand are below that of North America. Higher energy prices in Eastern Europe are driving demand strongly. This is fuelling demand for open-cell products. Middle Eastern demand is also strong, and production output has doubled over the past five years.
The US market stands out as a beacon of growth in the sector. Building regulations that are mandating greater levels of insulation are propelling demand, and some SPF producers are reporting double-digit growth in the market. Strong regulatory underpinning should fortify the market for the next few years, according to IAL.
The report Global Overview of the Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) & One Component Foam (OCF) markets is available as hard copy, and as electronic data for an additional fee when a hard copy is purchased. It includes SPF and OCF demand by country between 2016 and 2023, with closed- and open-cell splits by country for 2018.