CLEVELAND (March 8, 2016) — Driven by rising levels of tire manufacturing, worldwide demand for rubber is forecast to rise 3.9 percent per year through 2019, according to market research firm Freedonia Group.
Cleveland-based Freedonia expects the Asia/Pacific region to outstrip the global demand growth pace, rising 4.8 percent per year through 2019, or double the growth rate of North America and more than five times the expected growth rate in western Europe.
The company cites rising income levels in developing regions — particularly in the Asia/Pacific region — for its projection, saying great affluence will support gains in motor vehicle manufacturing and usage, fueling demand for tires and, in turn, rubber.
Asia/Pacific accounted for 62.5 percent of global demand in 2014, and Freedonia sees that rising to 65.2 percent by 2019, when worldwide demand should approach 31.7 million metric tons.
“Growth in manufacturing activity will also support increased demand for rubber in non-tire applications such as automotive components, industrial rubber products, medical products, and footwear,” said Freedonia analyst Elliott Woo.