Global PVC Panel Trade 2014-2018

In 2018, approx. 4.4B square meters of floor, wall or ceiling coverings of plastics were imported worldwide; surging by 9.1% against the previous year. Overall, the total imports indicated a strong increase from 2014 to 2018: its volume increased at an average annual rate of +12.4% over the last four-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, plastic panel imports increased by +59.3% against 2014 indices. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2016 with an increase of 17% year-to-year. The global imports peaked in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, plastic panel imports amounted to $9.8B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. Overall, the total imports indicated prominent growth from 2014 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +12.4% over the last four years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, plastic panel imports increased by +53.3% against 2014 indices. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2018 when imports increased by 19% y-o-y. In that year, global plastic panel imports reached their peak and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

PVC Panel Imports by Country

The U.S. was the key importer of floor, wall or ceiling coverings of plastics imported in the world, with the volume of imports reaching 1.2B square meters, which was approx. 27% of total imports in 2018. It was distantly followed by Germany (432M square meters), France (261M square meters), Canada (230M square meters), the UK (206M square meters) and the Netherlands (206M square meters), together achieving a 30% share of total imports. Belgium (130M square meters) and Australia (106M square meters) followed a long way behind the leaders.

The U.S. was also the fastest-growing in terms of the floor, wall or ceiling coverings of plastics imports, with a CAGR of +29.4% from 2014 to 2018. At the same time, Canada (+18.7%), Australia (+18.0%), the Netherlands (+14.4%), Belgium (+13.9%), Germany (+11.7%), the UK (+9.3%) and France (+9.1%) displayed positive paces of growth. While the share of the U.S. (+17 p.p.), Germany (+3.5 p.p.), Canada (+2.6 p.p.), the Netherlands (+1.9 p.p.) and France (+1.7 p.p.) increased significantly, the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, the U.S. ($3.6B) constitutes the largest market for imported floor, wall or ceiling coverings of plastics worldwide, comprising 37% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Germany ($747M), with a 7.6% share of global imports. It was followed by Canada, with a 5.6% share.

In the U.S., plastic panel imports expanded at an average annual rate of +31.7% over the period from 2014-2018. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Germany (+6.1% per year) and Canada (+12.9% per year).

PVC Panel Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the average plastic panel import price amounted to $2.2 per square meter, increasing by 9.4% against the previous year. Overall, the plastic panel import price, however, continues to indicate a mild decline. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2018 an increase of 9.4% against the previous year. The global import price peaked at $2.3 per square meter in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, import prices remained at a lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was the U.S. ($3.1 per square meter), while the Netherlands ($1.7 per square meter) was amongst the lowest.

From 2014 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by the U.S., while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.

PVC Panel Exports by Country

China dominates plastic panel exports structure, finishing at 3.4B square meters, which was near 66% of total exports in 2018. It was distantly followed by South Korea (391M square meters) and Belgium (292M square meters), together comprising a 13% share of total exports. The following exporters – Germany (163M square meters), Luxembourg (105M square meters) and France (88M square meters) – together made up 6.8% of total exports.

China was also the fastest-growing in terms of the floor, wall or ceiling coverings of plastics exports, with a CAGR of +20.6% from 2014 to 2018. At the same time, Germany (+9.6%), Belgium (+8.7%), South Korea (+7.5%) and Luxembourg (+1.1%) displayed positive paces of growth. By contrast, France (-2.4%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. From 2014 to 2018, the share of China, South Korea and Belgium increased by +35%, +1.9% and +1.6% percentage points, while the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, China ($4.3B) remains the largest plastic panel supplier worldwide, comprising 50% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Belgium ($749M), with a 8.6% share of global exports. It was followed by South Korea, with a 6.6% share.