Cable demand will persist

Tuesday, 23 December, 2008

Applied Market Information's multiclient study quantifies consumption of insulation and jacketing polymers in the whole EU-27+3 European cables industry by country, by applications and by polymer.

A comparison of the primary market research conducted by AMI's cables research team in 2004 and again in 2008 shows that growth in this specialist niche market for polymers has outpaced the rest of the European plastics industry and grown faster than European GDP. Market growth has been driven by EU-supported initiatives to modernise and upgrade power transmission networks and this trend will continue to support demand in 2009.

Market trends vary widely and are analysed by country across the continent with growth generally weaker in the mature EU-15+3 Western European economies.

PVC compounds remain by far the most widely used materials for cable insulation and jacketing. The market for PVC cables compounds recovered 2004–2008, after losing some market share in Europe between 1996 and 2004. PVC continues to compete in the market on price, technical performance and ease of processing.

The price of PVC compounds has stayed much lower than those of polyethylene cables compounds, whose prices have risen and fallen in line with oil and ethylene prices. PVC is, of course, less ethylene-intensive than PE.

Consumption of polyethylene cables compounds has grown strongly since 2004, with this market driven by strong demand for LSF0H and XPLE grades.

The study forecasts future growth by country, application and polymer to 2012, driven mainly by infrastructure investments in the newer EU accession countries. In the short term, building wire and automotive markets are likely to contract because of a downturn in the European construction industry and an anticipated recession for European manufacturing but recovery is anticipated for 2010 to 2012 and this will deliver overall growth to bring the market to 1.6 million tonnes by 2012.


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