Vinyl 2020 co-author sees long-term growth of PVC industry despite challenges

October 08, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Media News
Long-term global growth of the vinyl industry remains intact, despite economic, political and social challenges, Irving Leveson, co-author of Vinyl 2020, the groundbreaking report on the vinyl industry released 10 years ago, said last week at World Vinyl Forum III in Boston.

“Underlying strengths during 1995 -2002 have been contorted by crises and boom-bust that added volatility,” Leveson said, but those strengths will continue and “the stage is being set for high growth in the years ahead.”

He noted that economic growth will be greatest in third world countries, where “the installed base of PVC is not large.” As countries grow, those with larger internal markets will become more self-sufficient in vinyl production. “This is especially true of China,” Leveson added.

In the U.S. vinyl market, Leveson said, PVC demand increased rapidly through 2005, but slipped in 2006 because of the housing market downturn – a slump that will be prolonged if the U.S. economy falls into recession, Leveson added. High and volatile energy prices will also present challenges to the U.S. and other countries, although he noted that rising energy prices have contributed, along with growth in Asia, to a boom in infrastructure.

Despite bumps in the road, technology is providing significant opportunities for the vinyl industry. The U.S. and the rest of the world, Leveson said, are in a period of “accelerated technology change that will continue for many years and underpin the continuation of accelerated economic growth.” Although technology development in the vinyl industry is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, “it will provide new solutions and markets.”

Leveson said that although the obstacles facing the industry are greater now than in the past, “the business and social environment remains a manageable challenge for an industry that has become and will remain part of our way of life.” ENDS 100407

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