US Demand for Wood-Plastic Composite and Plastic Lumber to Approach $6 Billion

Freedonia GroupUS demand for wood-plastic composite (WPC) and plastic lumber is forecast to advance 6.9% per year to $5.9 billion in 2020. Continuing growth in construction expenditures—particularly in the residential market—will spur gains. WPC and plastic lumber have taken market share from wood in such applications as decking and molding and trim due to favorable aesthetic and performance properties and will see increasing use in these segments. Furthermore, consumers who opted for less costly wood products, especially during the Great Recession and its aftermath, will increasingly choose WPC and plastic materials going forward as economic conditions improve. These and other trends are presented in Wood-Plastic Composite & Plastic Lumber, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Decking will continue to be the leading application for WPC and plastic lumber going forward. Consumer interest in installing decks as a way to increase outdoor living and recreation space will support demand. Growth will also be spurred by manufacturers’ efforts to offer more aesthetically pleasing products, such as capstock-coated WPC and cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC) lumber. According to analyst Matt Zielenski, “These materials better resemble natural wood and require less maintenance. Producers will continue to offer decking materials with more realistic wood-like surface textures and a broader palette of colors, such as those that look like tropical hardwoods.” Among other applications, fencing and windows and doors are expected to see above average growth going forward.

Further boosting demand for WPC and plastic lumber products will be rising homeowner interest in adding outdoor kitchens and al fresco dining areas, gazebos, and play areas with playground equipment. In many cases, WPC and plastic lumber products will be used in these applications.

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Source: The Freedonia Group