Wood plastic composite Markets in Europe
European WPC Production Figures in a Nutshell
The production volume of WPC in Germany amounted in 2008 to 28 000 tons (VHI, 2009).
The European WPC-decking market currently amounts to about 68 000 tons, which amounts to 57% of the total market.
The European WPC-Siding market currently amounts to about 13 600 tons (11 %) and is at its initial stage.
The production of other WPC applications amounts to about 38 400 tons (32%).
Total European Production increased from 3 000 tons up to 120 000 tons (without automotive), which means an annual growth rate of 51%.
Market Overview WPC-Decking
Germany is a leader both in terms of production figures and according to the number of actors (30%). Benelux countries follow with 12%, Austria with 10% and France with 6%. Scandinavia has a big development potential. 12% of European actors can be found in Scandinavia, and there is more tradition for decking and siding than in central Europe especially for solid wood.
Advantages from WPC-Decking
• Hollow profiles have less weight
• Recycling possible in the process
• Weather and UV resistance splinter proof
• Better dimensional stability than solid wood and plastics
• Longer life time as timber decking
• Less time and costs for maintenance and cleaning
• Less slippery as timber decking (higher anti-slip class for WPC as for timber decking)
• More design and colors’ available as by timber decking
• No association with toxic chemicals
Opportunities and Constraints of the WPC Markets in Europe
Wooden decking is increasingly replacing concrete stone decking that is the traditional decking material in Europe. The driving force for this development is the trend for natural materials in garden.
Untreated domestic wood is preferred by the consumers of decking in Europe, although the share of WPCdecking is increasing.
Natural wood is well know and accepted by the consumers and contractors, if WPC-Decking wants to gain on market share an eco-certification and life cycle analysis will be necessary.
If WPC gains an image of environmental friendly product, there will be opportunities to gain on market share in the field of decking.
The merit of “sustainable development” through use of recycled materials and the possibility of recycling the composite in the process should be important factors for marketing in Europe.
Investments in design and attractive colors’ are recommended.
The consumer awareness about WPC is still low. There is still need to create new applications fields for WPC to gain public awareness and recognizable brands.