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World demand for asphalt to reach 108 million metric in 2013

Publish in 26 October of 2011

World demand for asphalt is forecast to expand 2.1 percent annually from a weak 2008 base to 108 million metric tons in 2013, equivalent to 655 million barrels of primary asphalt. In the world’s most developed asphalt markets (North America, Western Europe and Japan), demand suffered in 2008, reflecting economic recession, declining construction activity and high asphalt prices. In general, these regions will now post moderate gains in demand through 2013. In China and India, growth in demand will remain well above the world average, although gains will decelerate. Paving products accounted for more than 80 percent of total asphalt demand in 2008. These and other trends are presented in World Asphalt, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

With demand totaling nearly 30 million metric tons in 2008, North America is the largest regional market for asphalt. This reflects the size of the US and Canadian road networks and the dominant position of asphalt materials in the North American roofing market. Going forward, demand will rebound from a weak 2008 base in both paving and roofing markets, with overall asphalt demand reaching nearly 33 million metric tons in 2013.

The Asia/Pacific region is the fastest growing geographic market for asphalt, largely because of huge road and highway construction and modernization programs underway in China and India. In both countries, gains will decelerate from the levels posted in the 2003-2008 period, but will still be well above the global average. China will be especially important, accounting for 28 percent of all new global asphalt demand through 2013. Demand in the region will increase 3.3 percent annually to 32 million metric tons in 2013. Demand for asphalt in Western Europe is projected to increase less than one percent annually to 22 million metric tons in 2013. Gains will derive from continued demand in road repair and maintenance applications, and from increasing market share for asphalt roofing, particularly for modified bitumen membranes used in low-slope roofing. Advances will be moderated by minimal growth in new road construction, among the slowest growth rates in the world.

World Asphalt Demand (million metric tons)

2003 2008 2013 2003-2008 2008-2013
96.93 97.41 108.00 0,1% 2,1%

Source: The Freedonia Group, Inc. (www.freedoniagroup.com)

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