Demand for roofing products worldwide is projected to grow nearly four percent per year through 2018 to over 12 billion square meters, a significant improvement from the lethargic performance of the 2008-2013 period. Demand growth will primarily be stimulated by rebounding residential building construction activity in many developed countries, including the US. Continued strong growth in lowerincome areas, particularly in Asia, will also contribute to demand gains.
Though the mix of roofing materials used varies from country to country, bituminous and tile products were the most popular choices in 2013, together accounting for 70 percent of global demand in area terms. Tile products are forecast to see slightly faster demand growth than bituminous products through 2018, and will see a small increase in market share. Tile products will benefit from their intensive use in the rapidly growing Asia/Pacific market. However, both elastomeric and plastic roofing are projected to post faster demand gains through 2018, though they will continue to account for only small shares of the total market. Fiber cement products are forecast to lose market share through 2018, in part due to growing health concerns over the use of asbestos.
Demand for roofing in new nonresidential construction applications is projected to register the fastest gains of any market through 2018, driven by recovering nonresidential construction activity in developed countries and continued strong growth in developing areas throughout the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions. Demand for roofing in new residential applications fell between 2008 and 2010 due to the housing market collapses in many developed countries, and only began to recover in 2011. Rebounds in many of these housing markets will allow roofing demand in new residential construction applications to post above average gains through 2018.
China and the US will account for over one-half of global gains in roofing demand in square meters through 2018. China, the world's largest market for roofing products in 2013, will maintain its trend of strong growth and account for one-third of global market gains. The US is projected to recover from a housing market collapse that began in 2006 and caused roofing demand in the country to plummet. Strong growth is also expected in a number of smaller roofing markets, including Indonesia, India, and Turkey. Although some higher-income countries will see fast, rebound-fueled growth similar to the US, market gains will typically be slower than in lower-income areas. In fact, Western Europe will exhibit the slowest regional roofing market growth through 2018.
Details on these and other key findings are contained in World Roofing, a Freedonia industry study which presents historical demand data for 2003, 2008 and 2013, plus forecasts for 2018 and 2023 by roofing type, world region, and for 18 countries. The study also considers market environment factors, assesses industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 40 global industry participants such as Etex, GAF Materials, Imerys, Monier, Nucor and Saint-Gobain.