The 2016 State of the Industry report is now online! Make sure to check out our forecast for the composites industry in 2016.
One of the best ways to judge an industry’s vitality is to look at end product demand. For composites, the picture is promising: Demand for end products, ranging from bath tubs and golf clubs to rebar and roof panels, reached $21.2 billion in 2014. Such demand, in turn, leads to a healthy composite materials market.
The U.S. composite materials market grew by 6.3 percent last year to reach $8.2 billion in value and 5.5 billion pounds in terms of annual shipment. Looking ahead, key economic indicators and market dynamics suggest that in 2015, the U.S. composite materials market will grow 4.9 percent to reach 5.8 billion pounds of annual shipment. Dominating the materials market are glass fiber in the reinforcement segment and polyester resin in the resin segment.
The top three market segments in 2014 were transportation, construction and pipe and tank. These segments represented 69 percent of total volume. Demand in the U.S. composites market is expected to reach $12 billion by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6 percent. Recovery in the wind energy market, as well as continuing growth in the transportation/automotive, aerospace and construction sectors, are likely to stimulate the composites market through 2020 and beyond. By 2020, approximately 65 percent of U.S. composites growth by value is expected to be driven by the aerospace, transportation and construction industries.
Extending the look globally, the U.S. is the second largest market for composites worldwide after China in terms of volume consumption. In 2013, the U.S. ranked No. 1 in per capita composite materials consumption with approximately 16 pounds, followed by Germany with approximately 8.6 pounds. Comparatively, per capita composites consumption in China was 4.8 pounds – the highest among BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
To understand how and why composites can gain market share, it’s important to take a closer look at some key market segments.