ERJ staff report (DS)
Bristol, UK -- Global demand for artificial turf is growing at 20 percent annually. according to a recently published study by Applied Market Information Ltd (AMI). The report's author John Nash says that 'Soccer and residential landscaping applications were the hot spots in 2007, but strong demand was enjoyed in most regions of the world and in most applications for artificial grass'.
The report's author, John Nash said the industry now accounts for over 600 000 tonnes of product ranging from the polymers used for the grass carpet through the elastomeric rubber infill to the underlay. The market value of the grass carpet alone is estimated at €1250m in 2007.
Europe is the largest market, with around 43 percent of the global share, with NAFTA coming in second with 28 percent.
The infill that has become predominant is SBR (styrene butadiene rubber) sourced from grinding up and recycling car tyres, but new TPEs (thermoplastic elastomers) are being offered which address specific requirements. A more recent focus for development is the underlay, or shock pad, which is becoming increasingly important to the performance of the system as a whole.
Nash said the industry is developing fasst in technological terms, but, he added, "As predicted by AMI in its 2005 report, there is also substantial merger and acquisition activity as participants build and reshape their businesses. The last eighteen months have seen major acquisitions involving FieldTurf Tarkett, TenCate Thiolon, Low and Bonar, and 'private equity' investor purchases of Sportexe, Sprinturf and Desso."
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Press release from AMI