Demand for asphalt in the US is forecast to increase +7.4% per year to reach nearly 35 million tons (32 million tonnes) in 2015, according to US research company Freedonia.

However, this growth would represent a rebound from a low base, after consumption declined sharply between 2005 and 2010 during the building construction downturn.

Freedonia said demand for asphalt would rise primarily as a result of a recovery in the US residential construction market from its weak 2010 level, while demand for asphalt paving products - which accounted for 80% of asphalt consumption in 2010 - is forecast to benefit from an expected increase in federal and state spending on highway and road construction.

Overall, demand for asphalt in paving uses is forecast to increase 7.8% annually to 28.5 million tons (26 million tonnes) in 2015, while demand for asphalt in roofing and other applications is forecast to rise 5.6% annually to 6.3 million tons (5.7 million tonnes) in 2015.

Gains will also reflect a recovery in non-residential building activity, which was hit by the recession, although not as dramatically as residential construction. Finally, growth opportunities will continue to exist in maintenance and repair applications in both residential and non-residential markets.

The forecast comes after the US Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) committee approved a two-year, US$ 109 billion highway funding plan that would continue spending at current levels.

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