Long-term Gains in Malaysia Bright Spot for Flat Glass Market

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a significant negative impact on global flat glass sales in 2020. Beyond the pandemic, however, trends discussed in the Freedonia Group’s Global Flat Glass study show long-term opportunities, as well as the threats to growth.

For example, previously a relatively minor producer of flat glass, Malaysia made significant capacity gains in 2018 and 2019 thanks to investments from two Chinese firms, Kibing Glass and Xinyi Glass. These investments have given the Malaysian flat glass industry production capacity well in excess of domestic market needs, and exports are expected to serve markets in India and South Korea, among others. Xinyi Glass has also discussed further investments that could make Malaysia the second largest Asia/Pacific flat glass producer behind China.

In the Asia/Pacific region as a whole, flat glass production is forecast to increase 5.2% per year to 8.4 billion square meters. Continued strong growth in local markets will fuel high levels of investment in Asia/Pacific production. Suppliers will also find expanded export opportunities in the Africa/Mideast region and Central and South America as countries in those areas develop, allowing for a widening of the trade surplus.

These trends and more are available in the study Global Flat Glass.