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The US demand for decking is projected to advance 2.8% per year until 2009 to 5.7 billion board feet, valued at $5.8 billion, according to a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc.
(Published on May-June 2006 – JEC Magazine #25)
The relative stability of the decking market stems from the fact that more than 85% of demand is generated through repair and improvement activity, which is inherently less cyclical than the new construction market. New markets will offer more mixed prospects.
The US decking market has seen a shift in product mix in recent years. In 1994, wood decking materials accounted for 97% of volume demand, with only minimal use of alternative decking materials.
Between 1994 and 2004, the replacement of natural wood materials with alternative materials accelerated significantly.
By 2004, alternative decking materials in the aggregate had acquired 11% of the five billion board foot market, posting double-digit gains in most markets over the span.
Composites show strong growth
Composite decking will provide the strongest growth opportunities, posting 15% annual growth until 2009 to almost 900 million board feet.
Demand for composite decking will be fuelled by its high durability and low maintenance requirements, as well as by product advances that provide a more realistic wood appearance.
Other alternative decking materials such as plastic and aluminium will also show strong growth, rising nearly 11% per year until 2009.
Demand for these materials will benefit from many of the same performance characteristics composite materials have. However, these decking materials often provide less favourable aesthetics and a much higher price than composite or wood materials, which often limits use in the key residential market.
Despite significant competition from alternative decking materials, wood will The US demand for decking is projected to advance 2.8% per year until 2009 to 5.7 billion board feet, valued at $5.8 billion, according to a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc. remain the dominant material used to produce and repair decks in the US, accounting for 81% of total decking demand in 2009. Wood decking will continue to reap the rewards of its good reputation and preference among consumers, builders and contractors, as well as its aesthetic appeal.
Pressure-treated wood in particular will continue to benefit from its lower price compared to other woods and alternative decking materials. However, demand for wood decking is forecast to expand only 1.0% annually until 2009, a significantly slower pace than the overall decking market.