Study: Demand for Wood-Plastic Composites to HIt $6.5B in 2018

By Alex Keown | Posted: 06/05/2014 10:04AM

 

CLEVELAND, OH - U.S. demand for wood-plastic composite and plastic lumber is expected to rise 9.8 percent annually to $5.5 billion in 2018, creating a market for 2.6 billion pounds of plastic, according to a new study by The Freedonia Group Inc.

 

According to the report, “Wood-Plastic Composite & Plastic Lumber,” a rebound in housing construction combined with gains in residential improvement and repair, will generate a growth in demand for the products. In 2013 wood-plastic composites had a $3.4 billion market share, according to the report. 

Decking applications will account for more than two-fifths of composite and plastic lumber demand in 2018, comprising 19 percent of all decking demand, the report says. In applications such as decking, wood-plastic composite is increasingly preferred to plastic lumber, the report says.

As nearly two-thirds of composite and plastic lumber demand is generated by the residential market, expansion in residential construction activity will boost composite lumber demand. Overall increases in construction will cause demands for both types of alternative lumber through 2018, but wood-plastic composite demand will rise at a quicker pace than demand for plastic lumber, albeit from a smaller base, the report says.

Additionally, improvements in manufacturing technologies that improve resistance to fading color and a resemblance to natural wood, particularly expensive hardwoods such as ipe and redwood, will also boost demand for composite and plastic decking.

Molding and trim are also expected to advance at a strong pace through 2018. Wood-plastic composite and plastic lumber use in molding and trim will benefit from renewed housing activity and from performance characteristics, including resistance to moisture and ease of shaping.

U.S. COMPOSITE & PLASTIC LUMBER DEMAND

(million dollars)

 

% Annual Growth

Item

2008

2013

2018

2008-

2013

2013-

2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


Composite & Plastic Lumber

3265

3447

5500

1.1

9.8

Decking

1385

1400

2470

0.2

12.0

Molding & Trim

942

1005

1525

1.3

8.7

Fencing

460

545

790

3.4

7.7

Landscaping & Outdoor Products

218

212

300

-0.6

7.2

Other

260

285

415

1.9

7.8

“Wood-Plastic Composite & Plastic Lumber” is available for $5,300 from The Freedonia Group. For more information visit freedoniagroup.com.

 

About the Author

Alex Keown WoodworkingNetwork

Alex Keown

Alex Keown is a freelance journalist living in Bloomingdale, IL. Alex, a native of North Carolina, spent many years writing for community publications across his home state and suburban Chicago.  keown.alex@gmail.com


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