Offshore wind farm in the East China Sea
2016: a highly successful year in regard to the production of composites in Asia. And this trend looks set to continue over the coming five years.

Total world production of composites in 2016 totaled 10.8 Mt at an estimated value of 74 B€, up from last year’s figures of 10.4 Mt and 71 B€ respectively.

Of this 10.8 Mt, China produced 3.1 Mt, which equates to 28.7% in volume and 25% in value. The rest of Asia combined produced another 2.1 Mt, representing 19.4% in volume and 18% in value globally.

In other words, in 2016 the whole of Asia produced 5.2 Mt or 48.1% of global production and 43% of value.

Global growth in volume is estimated at a CAGR of 4% per annum; value is anticipated to grow at a slightly higher 5%. By 2021, global volume is expected to reach 12.9 MT, with a value of 94 B€.

China is expected to grow significantly more than other regions. Between 2016 and 2021 China is likely to represent 60% of global growth, with the rest of Asia taking up 17%. This will take the percentage of global composites made in the whole of Asia over the halfway point, to 52%, by 2021.


Which industries consume the most composites?

The three industries that have the largest weight in the global composites market are Transportation (3 Mt), Construction (2 Mt), and Electrical appliances & Electronics (E&E: 1.8 Mt), with Pipe & Tank (1.6 Mt) coming in a creditable fourth.

It’s interesting to see in which industries Asian composites companies perform the strongest. China is particularly strong in the Pipe & Tank industry (42% of global composites production), E&E (39%) and Wind (38%). In the rest of Asia, the industry supplied the most with composites is Consumer goods (30%) followed by E&E (27%) and others (27%).

If you are wondering which regions are supplying the top industry mentioned above – transportation – they are North America (34% of global composites production) and Europe (33%). China and the rest of Asia each provide 14% of global composites production capacity to the transportation industry. When it comes to the construction industry, North America and China each provide 31% of global composites production, with the rest of Asia supplying 16%.


Where’s the future growth coming from?

All the industries mentioned so far are expected to increase their usage of composites over the next five years. The industries that are likely to demonstrate the greatest increase in penetration rate of composites are Aerospace (13% to 18%), Transportation (10% to 14%) and Construction (8% to 10%). The three industries where the penetration rate of composites is currently the highest are all expected to grow composites usage by a single percentage point: Wind energy from 66% to 67%; Marine from 51% to 52%, and E&E from 36% to 37%. Consumer goods and Pipe & Tank are also expected to grow by 1%: Consumer goods to 15% and Pipe & Tank to 3%.

In summary, the composites industry in China and the rest of Asia is strong, and is likely to get even stronger. As composites are finding a use in more and more applications – particularly in transportation – the future for the composites industry in Asia looks extremely promising.


Source:  "The Composites industry at the crossroads - An overview of the global composites industry" - New edition 2016 by JEC Group (200 pages).
This new publication will be available online by mid March and on JEC World (Publications Store, Hall 5A and Hall 6) on 14, 15 and 16 March 2017 in Paris-Villepinte


Written by Denzil Walton

Denzil Walton is a technical copywriter, editor and conference reporter. He has over 30 years’ experience writing on a variety of industrial and high-tech topics.


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