COLUMBUS, Ohio (Oct. 23)—Growth in demand for polyurethane products in the U.S. slowed considerably in the past two years compared with the 1996-1998 period, a new study shows. PU consumption in the U.S. in 2000 reached 2.52 million metric tons, up just 4.8 percent from the 1998 level, according to a survey commissioned by the Alliance of the Polyurethanes Industry. This contrasts with 14.8-percent growth in the previous period. Total polyurethane usage in North America reached 2.89 million metric tons in 2000, with Canada accounting for 248,000 tons and Mexico about half that amount at 126,500 tons. Canadian PU usage was 9.9 percent ahead of the 1998 total, according to the report. The study was the result of 900 interviews of end users, processors and raw material suppliers, according to Joanne Ulnick, partner with Ducker Research Co. Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. This is the third API-funded survey of the industry, but the first to cover the PU market in Mexico as well as Canada and the U.S.