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  April 1st, 2021 | Written by

Growing Demand for Composite Consumer Products Supports the Glass Fibre Market

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  • Last year the global glass fibre industry was hampered by lockdowns and disruption of raw material supply chains.
  • The growth of the yuan against the dollar pushed up prices on imported goods from China.

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Glass Fibres and Glass Fibre Articles – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends, and Insights.’ Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

2020 was a serious test for the glass fibre market. The fall in production was extreme in April 2020. Still, demand began to recover in the second half of the year thanks to a recovery in the composite consumer goods sector. Chinese goods became more expensive due to the strengthening of the yuan and the introduction of anti-dumping duties by the EU.

Key Trends and Insights

Last year the global glass fibre industry was hampered by lockdowns and disruption of raw material supply chains.

In Europe, the deepest drop in production of glass fibre articles was recorded in April 2020. A similar situation was observed in almost all developed countries. In the third and fourth quarters of 2020, demand for glass fibre resumed growth thanks to the recovery in the automotive and composite consumer goods industry. The demand for household articles grew due to rising construction and a wave of home renovations.

The growth of the yuan against the dollar pushed up prices on imported goods from China. In the European market, this effect is more pronounced due to anti-dumping duties imposed in mid-2020 on Chinese fibreglass companies, whose excess capacity is believed to have been subsidized by the local government.

The growth driver for the glass fibre market in the coming years may be the development of wind energy in the United States. Several U.S. states raised their renewables portfolio standards (RPS) since the blades for wind turbines are usually made of fibreglass materials.

China Emerges as the Largest Consuming and Exporting Country

In 2019, the global glass fibres market increased by 0.1% to $30.2B, rising for the third consecutive year after two years of decline. This figure includes the total consumption of glass fibre filaments, rovings, chopped strands, staple glass fibre articles, voiles, webs, mats, fabrics, and other articles of glass fibres.

With 3M tonnes, China remains the largest consuming country worldwide, accounting for 23% of total volume (IndexBox estimates). Moreover, China’s demand exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest consumer, India (1.1M tonnes), threefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by the U.S. (1.1M tonnes), with an 8.8% share.

From 2012 to 2019, the average annual growth rate in China amounted to +1.0%. The remaining consuming countries recorded the following growth: India (+2.1% per year) and the U.S. (+1.3% per year).

In value terms, China ($6.4B), the U.S. ($3.7B), and India ($2.6B) were the countries with the highest levels of market value in 2019, together comprising 42% of the global market.

The countries with the highest levels of glass fibre, mat, and voile per capita consumption in 2019 were France (10 kg per person), the UK (8.07 kg per person), and Germany (6.70 kg per person).

In 2019, China (1.6M tonnes) represented the largest exporter of glass fibres, mats, and voiles, constituting 30% of total exports (IndexBox estimates). Belgium (414K tonnes) took the second position in the ranking, followed by Malaysia (337K tonnes). All these countries together took near 14% share of total exports. The U.S. (212K tonnes), Germany (211K tonnes), Egypt (209K tonnes), Taiwan (Chinese) (203K tonnes), the Czech Republic (194K tonnes), the Netherlands (170K tonnes), France (168K tonnes), Mexico (166K tonnes), the UK (142K tonnes) and Slovakia (136K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

Exports from China increased at an average annual rate of +5.6% from 2012 to 2019. At the same time, Egypt (+35.4%), Mexico (+5.4%), the Netherlands (+5.3%), the UK (+4.6%), Malaysia (+4.4%), Belgium (+3.7%), Germany (+3.6%), the Czech Republic (+3.2%) and Slovakia (+3.1%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Egypt emerged as the fastest-growing exporter exported globally, with a CAGR of +35.4% from 2012-2019. Taiwan (Chinese) experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, France (-1.1%) and the U.S. (-5.1%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period.

In value terms, the largest glass fibre, mat, and voile supplying countries worldwide were China ($2.6B), the U.S. ($1.4B), and Germany ($953M), with a combined 39% share of global exports. These countries were followed by Belgium, France, Taiwan (Chinese), Malaysia, the UK, the Czech Republic, Mexico, the Netherlands, Egypt, and Slovakia, which accounted for a further 33%.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform