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Polyurethane volume in North America up 4.6%. (Market Focus).

The Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry (API) market survey of the polyurethanes industry in North America indicates polyurethanes industry volume for 2000 was 6,373 million pounds. In the U.S., volume was 5,548 million pounds, up from 5,327 million pounds in 1998. Canadian volume was 546 million pounds, up from 497 million pounds in 1998. Mexican volume was 279 million pounds. This is the first time that Mexico data have been included in the survey.

The biennial survey addresses the current state of the entire industry, and was the result of more than 900 interviews conducted throughout North America. End-users, formulators and producers all participated in the survey.

"The survey revealed that the industry experienced a 4.6% increase in volume in Canada and the U.S.," said Joanne Ulnick of Ducker Research, the marketing firm that conducted the survey.

The 6,094 million pounds for the U.S. and Canada is approximately double the number of pounds consumed in 1989, when usage was first tracked.

The report showed a great deal of consistency with its 1998 counterpart. "When the 1998 survey results were released," said Fran W. Lichtenberg, API Executive Director, "it predicted that total industry volume in the U.S. and Canada for 2000 would be 6,174 million pounds. That prediction was based on the growth rate in 1998. This year's survey shows that while the growth rate appears to have slowed, it has not slowed as drastically as many people feared."

The report also showed that the top five polyurethane end-use applications remained unchanged from two years ago - construction, transportation, furniture, carpet cushion and appliances. Flexible polyurethane foams accounted for 40% of total polyurethane demand; rigid polyurethane foams represented 26.5%; coatings represented 9.6%; and elastomers represented 4%. These numbers are nearly identical to the numbers reported in 1998.

Small end-use applications (less than 250 million pounds of polyurethane demand) continued to experience strong growth, and on a level similar to what was reported in 1998. Among the leaders were wheels and tires (17.1%), bedding (16.6%), and textiles and fibers (12.4%).

Elastomers

U.S. demand for polyurethane elastomers in 2000 was 221 million pounds, up 6.8% from the 207 million pounds reported in 1998. Of that total, 41 million pounds went into transportation applications, 25 million pounds into industrial wheels and tires and 12 million pounds into in-line skate wheels.

Shoe soles are the primary application for polyurethane elastomers in footwear (28 million pounds). The annual amount of elastomer demand in this area is influenced by design trends. Material requirements for shoe soles include abrasion and chemical resistance, making PU elastomers an ideal choice.
2000 vs. 1998: U.S. polyurethane demand by top end-uses

 1998 2000
 Millions of pounds

Construction 1,469 1,380
Transportation 1,328 1,197
Furniture 544 515
Carpet cushion 468 513
Appliance 283 265
Packaging 243 234
Bedding 238 205
Textiles and fibers 199 177
Tanks and pipes 142 138
Foundry 112 104
Marine 78 70

Note: Table made from bar graph.
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Comment:Polyurethane volume in North America up 4.6%. (Market Focus).
Publication:Rubber World
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2001
Words:509
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