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This study covers the global decorative laminates industry, defined here to include:
low-basis weight papers
thermoplastic film (e.g., vinyl, polyester, polypropylene)
Edgebanding, as well as electrical, electronic, and other industrial laminates, is not included in this study.
Demand is also discussed in terms of market:
furniture (e.g., bedroom furniture, desks, workstations, and casegoods)
cabinets, including interior shelving, drawers, exterior doors, and side panels
other markets (e.g., doors, ceilings, window sills, stairways, dressing room and bathroom partitions, folding walls, signage, marker boards, lockers, planters)
Historical data are provided for 2009, 2014, and 2019, with forecasts for 2024 and 2029. Demand is provided in US dollars and square meters for decorative laminates by type and market. Production of decorative laminates is provided in square meters.Several assumptions have been made in order to ease understanding or to facilitate comparisons. For example, many decorative laminates are produced and sold in roll form to furniture producers or manufacturers, who then bond the laminate to a rigid substrate as part of the manufacturing process. This is frequently done with decorative foils and vinyl films. However, in the case of some decorative laminates, such as saturated papers, the laminates may be bonded to a substrate by the laminates producer and not by the customer due to the expense inherent in purchasing and operating the necessary machinery. So as not to skew the results (since some laminates are sold already bonded to a substrate and are therefore more expensive), all data treat laminates as unmounted, and pricing and other data have been modified accordingly.
Factors that influence decorative laminates demand in a country or region include the existing levels of and outlooks for economic growth and manufacturing activity, especially of engineered wood-based products. Other factors include:
trends in capital investment
construction activity, especially building construction
consumer spending trends and preferences
the level of competition from alternatives such as printed or coated surfaces
Such factors tend to vary, often considerably, on a national and regional basis and from year to year.
The primary determinant of a country’s ability to support domestic markets for decorative laminates is the intensity of engineered wood product manufacturing in the country, as decorative laminates are one of the materials used to surface engineered wood in the making of a variety of items, such as furniture, cabinets, and flooring.
Demand by Product
Going forward, high-pressure laminates are projected to be the fastest growing product, supported by their widespread use in the growing retail fixture, wall panel, and countertops markets.
Historically, low-pressure laminates were used mostly in less demanding applications, such as wall panels, cabinet sides and doors, and vertical surfaces on furniture and store fixtures. However, because of technological improvements that enhance impact-resistance and durability, low-pressure laminates continue to gain ground on horizontal surfaces (e.g., flooring) as a lower cost alternative to high-pressure laminates.
Nevertheless, high-pressure laminates still dominate many of the most demanding laminates applications:
These laminates provide superior decorative properties, long-term durability, and resistance to scratches and other types of damage caused by wear.
Key applications for high-pressure laminates include countertops and horizontal surfaces on furniture and store fixtures.
Demand by Region
The Asia/Pacific region is anticipated to achieve the fastest average annual advances, boosted primarily by continued investment in China, as well as rapid economic development in India. Because of China’s large market size, the country will comprise 72% of global demand gains from 2019 to 2024.
Growth in the Asia/Pacific region in general will be driven by:
growth in building construction and per capita incomes
the ongoing modernization of the housing stock
opportunities arising from the relatively low penetration rates in many regional countries
These factors will promote production of building-related products, such as furniture, cabinets, wall panels, and countertops. Often these items include laminated engineered wood, promoting demand for laminates. Market maturity in highly industrialized countries, such as Japan, will limit greater regional gains in decorative laminates demand.
The developed areas of North America and Western Europe will see below average gains and flat demand, respectively, reflecting high market penetration. In the case of Western Europe, slow regional growth in manufacturing and building construction activity, especially in areas important to laminates such as furniture, will cause demand to remain flat.
The largest decorative laminates producing country in the world in 2019 was China, which accounted for about 44% of global production. While China consumes a large portion of its output domestically – the country is the leading producer of laminated products such as ready-to-assemble furniture and laminate flooring – it also has a significant and growing trade surplus in these products.
Other significant net exporters include:
Western Europe’s trade surplus is supported by its status as significant producer of laminates for flooring and furniture.
Global demand for decorative laminates is forecast to increase 2.5% per year to 11.7 billion square meters valued at $57.3 billion in 2024. Going forward, market advances will be supported by:
increasing demand for ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture and similar products that frequently use decorative laminates in their manufacture
increased market penetration at the expense of other surfacing materials (wood veneer and paint) due to cost and performance benefits
the continued improvement in textures and in printing techniques that create advanced graphics rivaling the aesthetics of alternative materials
healthy growth in wall panel and laminate flooring production in the Asia/Pacific region
rising personal incomes, increasing the number of consumers able to afford such laminate-intensive products as cabinets, countertops, furniture, flooring, and wall panels
increases in personal consumption expenditures improving demand for retail fixtures, particularly in the developing world
government efforts to improve housing stocks in the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions, which will boost use of dedicated building materials
COVID-19 Pandemic to Greatly Restrict Future Demand in North America & Western Europe
The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant economic damage in 2020, in turn causing global demand for decorative laminates to decline. Although all regions are anticipated to see a rebound in 2021, the pandemic will have a longer term effect on demand in the US and Western Europe:
While residential building construction in the US mostly held up during the pandemic, nonresidential spending saw a sharp decline as many office employees shifted to telecommuting and retail and dining establishments were subject to temporary closures due to lockdown measures. Going forward, nonresidential demand for products that use decorative laminates – such as wall panels and flooring – will continue to be weak as the supply of office space remains high and some stores and restaurants are forced to close due to revenue losses.
In Western Europe, the pandemic exacerbated what was already a relatively weak construction environment. Domestic demand will remain flat as the region recovers the demand losses that occurred over this time.
Demand for Ready-To-Assemble Furniture to Drive Global Decorative Laminates Market
Through 2024, furniture applications will remain the largest outlet for decorative laminates and expand at a rate above the global average. Strong demand growth for RTA furniture throughout the world, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region, will drive the market going forward. The low cost, convenience, and easy assembly of these products will support further market share gains in the furniture industry, boosting associated laminates demand.