HOUSTON — Europe's share of global PVC consumption will decline 4 percentage points by 2002, said a European PVC executive who spoke at the DeWitt Petrochemical Review.
By 2002, Europe will have 24 percent of the global market, after having 28 percent in 1996, Guillaume Bucco said. Growth in the Asia-Pacific region will boost that area's share from 36 percent to 41 percent for the same period.
Bucco is European suspension PVC business manager for Solvay SA in Brussels, Belgium.
Southern European markets will be the region's strongest, with 2-3 percent growth in the next five years, Bucco said. But the overall slow growth will make it difficult for nonintegrated PVC makers to survive in the European marketplace.
Central and Eastern Europe represent the largest potential markets. Developing economies in this region could lead to 10 percent annual growth in consumption.
Discrepancies between the European and U.S. PVC markets will continue. For example, pipe and fittings together control 45 percent of the U.S. market, but only 26 percent in Europe. European PVC pipe use will grow only 1 percent this year.
Conversely, PVC holds 7 percent of Europe's bottle market, but only 1 percent in the United States.