Asphalt demand in China to reach 16.2 million tonnes in 2012

By Richard High08 May 2009

Demand for asphalt in China is expected to rise +5% annually through 2012 to 16.8 million tonnes, according to the latest study by market research company Freedonia Group's Beijing office.

The study, Asphalt in China, said growth will be supported by increasing construction expenditures fuelled by continuing urbanization and modernization in China.

In particular, said the study, non-building construction spending will be the leading driver of asphalt demand growth going forward as central and local governments continue to extensively invest in asphalt consuming infrastructure projects such as highways and other paved surface construction projects.

China, added the study, has run a trade deficit in primary asphalt over the past ten years and will continue to depend on asphalt imports to meet domestic needs.

Asphalt imports are expected to account for 30% of total demand in 2012.

Asphalt consumed in the manufacture of paving products in China is forecast to increase +5.4% annually through 2012 to 12.8 million tonnes. Rising expenditures on new road construction, as well as the maintenance and repair of a large and rapidly expanding stock of paved roads, will boost paving asphalt demand.

Demand for asphalt used in roofing products is also expected to expand by +4% per year through 2012 to 3.9 million tonnes, with growth driven by increases in building construction expenditures.

Asphalt shingles represent the fastest growing material used in sloped-roof applications in China, said the study, and will benefit from the ongoing Flat to Slope roof conversion project. Rising construction expenditures on residential, office and commercial and industrial buildings will benefit demand for low-slope asphaltic roofing, such as modified bitumen membranes and built-up roofing.

However, said the study, short-term gains will be restricted as urban real estate markets experience a correction following a period of overheating and the Chinese manufacturing sector adjusts to lower levels of global demand.

For a copy of the study, or for more information please contact www.freedoniagroup.com.

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