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Demand for wood-plastic composite and plastic lumber in the US is forecast to expand eleven percent per annum through 2009 to $3.5 billion.
Advances will result from increasing market penetration of these alternative building materials, particularly in decking applications, which are expected to account for almost 40 percent of value demand in 2009. Gains for these materials in decking will be attributable to performance characteristics, such as high durability and low maintenance requirements. Advances for composite decking will also be driven by increasing consumer and contractor familiarity, a widening distribution network, and product improvements that enhance appearance. These and other trends including market share, market leaders and company profiles are presented in “”Composite & Plastic Lumber,”” a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., the Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
Plastic lumber will benefit from growing use in fencing installations, while wood-plastic composites will achieve rising penetration in newer applications, such as fencing, window and door components, and railroad ties. Demand for both composite and plastic lumber will be aided by consumer efforts to reduce maintenance associated with construction materials.
Moulding and trim was the largest end use for composite and plastic lumber in 2004, at 46 percent of the total. Through 2009, demand for composite and plastic lumber in moulding and trim applications is forecast to rise more than six percent per year to $1.3 billion, almost all of which will be plastic lumber. Gains will be slower than for most composite and plastic lumber applications, a result of the relative maturity of the overall moulding and trim market, but will be significantly faster than those for wood moulding and trim materials.
Among the major product categories, window and door applications, although rising from a small base, are anticipated to post the fastest gains through 2009, with demand expected to exceed $200 million. As with other applications, composite window and door components are making inroads against wood, metal and plastic materials because of their lower maintenance requirements and similarities to wood. Other applications, such as playground equipment, site and leisure furniture, hot tub cladding, porches and railroad ties, will see above-average gains through 2009 as well, albeit from small bases.
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