World demand for roofing materials is forecast to grow 3.7 percent annually through 2016 to 11.8 billion square meters, a substantial acceleration from the slow growth of the market during the 2006-2011 period. Product sales in dollar terms are projected to grow more quickly, increasing 6.2 percent per year to $108 billion in 2016 as roofing prices rise. Gains in demand will be fueled by a major uptick in residential building construction activity, as construction industries in major developed nations such as the US rebound from their recent weakness. Further growth will be supported by continued gains in developing markets, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region.
Two countries, the US and China, will together account for nearly 60 percent of global gains in roofing demand in square meters through 2016. China, the world's largest market for roofing products in 2011, will continue its trend of strong growth and account for more than 30 percent of world market gains. The US, which experienced a collapse in new housing construction that began in 2006, will rebound significantly, but the US roofing market in 2016 will still be slightly below 2006 levels. Strong growth is also expected in a number of smaller developing nations, including India, Indonesia and South Africa. Although some developed countries will see fast rebound-fueled growth similar to the US, market gains will typically be smaller than in developing areas. In fact, Western Europe will be the slowest growing regional roofing market through 2016.
The mix of roofing materials used tends to vary from country to country, but bituminous and tile (clay and concrete) products dominate the global market, together accounting for 70 percent of demand in area terms. Bituminous products will post the fastest growth through 2016, primarily due to the heavy usage of asphalt shingles in the rebounding US market. The US, which uses shingles far more intensively than most other nations, will account for more than 80 percent of worldwide growth in demand for these products, thanks to a major recovery in new single-family housing construction.
Demand for concrete roofing tiles will also show strong growth, particularly in the developing Asia/Pacific region, where concrete tiles account for the largest share of roofing demand.
Roofing demand can be divided into residential and nonresidential building segments, each consisting of new construction and maintenance/repair (reroofing) applications. The residential reroofing market is the largest of these four segments, accounting for 36 percent of global product sales in square meters in 2011. However, recovery of residential construction in developed countries will lead the new residential roofing market to be the fastest growing through 2016. Growth will be somewhat slower in the nonresidential markets, where a steadier recent historical trend will lead to a less significant rebound effect. Gains in nonresidential roofing demand will still be stronger compared to the 2006 to 2011 period, and will be headed by expansion in developing markets throughout the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions.
Details on these and other findings are contained in the Freedonia industry study, “World Roofing”, which presents historical demand data (2001, 2006, 2011) as well as forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by material, market, world region and for 29 countries. The study also considers market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles global industry competitors.