According to a study conducted by The Freedonia Group Inc., Cleveland, worldwide demand for asphalt is forecast to expand 2% annually through 2005 to 105 million metric tons, generating demand for primary asphalt of over 600 million barrels.
The most rapid gains in asphalt demand are expected in the developing countries of the Asia/Pacific region fueled by stronger construction activity, including expansion of road networks. China will exhibit particularly strong growth, with demand for asphalt used in paving, roofing and other products projected to increase 6.6% per annum through 2005.
Eastern Europe also will provide above-average opportunities for asphalt as the economic outlook for most of the region's countries brightens.
The study also revealed that paving products account for the majority of global primary asphalt demand.
In 2000, approximately 85% of asphalt use were in the production of paving products. Worldwide demand for asphalt in paving applications is forecast to expand 2% per year through 2005 to 89 million metric tons.
In industrialized regions such as North America and Europe, the greatest share of paving demand is related to maintenance or widening of existing roads. By contrast, in developing countries more opportunities exist for construction of new routes or paving of previously unpaved roads.