Among various alternative decking materials, composites are growing the fastest, according to a research report from Freedonia Group Inc.
Overall, the U.S. market for all types of decking is growing 1.6 percent annually and will reach 5.1 billion board-feet, according to the report. That's slower than the 2.6 percent annual growth rate that the market enjoyed between 1995 and 2000. Freedonia blamed the lower rate on a slowing pace for new construction.
However, the market for alternative decking materials, such as wood/plastic composites, vinyl and polyethylene, will increase their combined share of the market to more than 10 percent by 2005, eroding the share held by wood decking.
Freedonia predicts that composites' share of the market will grow 15 percent annually, reaching 488 million board-feet by 2005. Vinyl and PE will lag behind because these plastics have a more limited range of end uses, according to the report, ``Wood & Competitive Decking.''
Despite gains from alternative materials, wood will continue to dominate market share with nearly 90 percent of the U.S. market. Sales of cedar and exotic hardwood materials will exhibit above-average gains, while growth of pressure-treated lumber will decelerate, according to the report.
Residential construction is the top market for decking, accounting for more than 60 percent of total demand in 2000. This market also will show the strongest growth, rising 2.1 percent annually through 2005 to 3.2 billion board-feet.
The 247-page report costs $3,700.
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