Following a 12 months like no different, the forecast for 2021 appears promising.

At the beginning of 2020, composites business pundits couldn’t have predicted the impression a worldwide pandemic would have available on the market. The U.S. composites business confirmed indicators of development, however was quickly derailed by plant closings, worker layoffs and postponed initiatives in response to COVID-19. Nonetheless, composites professionals are resilient and by the tip of final 12 months, indicators pointed to a gradual restoration. In our 2021 State of the Business Report, 5 consultants share their expectations for key supplies and markets.

The Glass Fiber Market

By Dr. Sanjay Mazumdar, CEO, Lucintel

2020 was a disaster administration 12 months for composites business gamers because of COVID-19, which triggered a money movement and demand disaster, provide chain disruptions and employee questions of safety. Whereas final 12 months was difficult, the outlook seems brighter for 2021.

Originally of 2020, the U.S. composites business began pretty nicely and confirmed good indicators of development much like 2019. By the tip of March, new orders had been delayed and typically canceled. Through the second quarter, notably in April and Might, the impression of the pandemic was at its best, leading to one of many sharpest and deepest financial contractions because the Nice Melancholy. Greater than 20 million folks misplaced jobs in the summertime, and crops had been shut down throughout sectors. Transportation, building and marine had been hit the toughest, which resulted in a 20% lower in demand for U.S. glass fiber in Q2 2020 in comparison with Q1 2020. The impression of COVID-19 was mirrored within the monetary outcomes of many composites business gamers in the course of the first half of 2020 by way of poor gross sales and revenue margins.

Nonetheless, the second half of 2020 noticed one of many quickest recoveries within the financial system and the composites business. Since July 2020, the U.S. composites business has began to see a rise in demand from numerous end-use industries, together with automotive, marine and building, pushed by stimulus packages and plant re-openings. Consequently, the U.S. glass fiber market grew by roughly 23% in Q3 2020 in comparison with Q2 2020. In This fall 2020, the U.S. glass fiber market remained sturdy, and November noticed roughly 5% development in comparison with November 2019.

By the tip of 2020, the glass fiber market couldn’t get better absolutely from the dent of the pandemic and was anticipated to witness a decline of about 6%, with demand dropping to 2.44 billion kilos in comparison with 2.59 billion kilos in 2019. The impression of the coronavirus was irregular throughout worth chains, with automotive, pipe and tank, aerospace and marine purposes experiencing important declines, whereas wind power, electrical and electronics, and building remained constructive.

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