The global adhesives and sealants market grew by 3.1 percent to 20.6 billion pounds in 2003 as the industrialized economies started to recover from recession and show moderate growth.
The total demand last year was valued at $27.3 billion, according to David Nick, president and founder of DPNA International Inc. He presented the market study during the Adhesive and Sealant Council spring meeting in Cleveland.
During the year, the U.S. and Western European economies both grew more than 2 percent, with Japan at 1.8 percent.
The Chinese economy increased at a pace of more than 8 percent, but Nick said firms looking to invest there need to do so cautiously. ``There will be a point where the Chinese government won't be able to support that level of growth,'' he said.
Overall, North America accounted for 35 percent of the global adhesives and sealant demand, followed by Western Europe at 28 percent and the Far East at 26.5 percent.
North American consumption grew 2.3 percent to 6.3 billion pounds, with a value of $7.96 billion. Paper, board and related products accounted for 57 percent of usage followed by building construction and civil engineering at 16.7 percent. Market drivers for the area included the recessions in the U.S. and Canada, the war in Iraq and the weakening of the U.S. dollar.
Western European adhesives and sealants usage rose 2.1 percent to 5.7 billion pounds, with a value of $7.6 billion, Nick said. Germany remained the top market, followed by France, Italy and the United Kingdom. The area also dealt with a recession, along with the expansion of the European Union by another 10 countries, the strengthening of the euro and high unemployment.
The Asia-Pacific market jumped 4.7 percent to 5.54 billion pounds, with a value of $6.8 billion. Growth in China helped drive the region, as the nation accounted for 46 percent of adhesives and sealants demand in the area, followed by Japan at 36 percent and India at 8 percent.
Among other regions, Nick said:
* Domestic reforms in Latin America should encourage foreign investment, with low inflation rates another positive sign;
* The Middle East, despite the ongoing wars, still is open to exports and has an evolving adhesives market; and
* South Africa has ``very good prospects'' for growth and a political atmosphere that is now moderate.