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ARTIFICIAL GRASS MARKET, AMI PREDICTS SUSTAINED HIGH GROWTH

2007 Updated Study to be
Released End of February 2008!

 

AMI – The market for artificial grass is one of the fastest growing of any textile or polymer application, with consistent double digit annual growth in North America, Asia and Europe 2001-2004, and a strong surge in demand in 2005.

 

A recently published study by leading industry consultants, Applied Market Information (AMI) – ‘The Global Grass Yarn Market 2005’ – expects growth of artificial turf in Europe to average 10-12%, and North America and Asia to be above 20% for 2005.

 

This current growth is particularly beneficial to the specialist yarn and artificial grass producers who have focused on this segment, as well as polyethylene suppliers and companies supplying colour and UV additive systems to these applications, says AMI.

 

 

Although artificial grass was introduced over 35 years ago for an American football pitch in Houston, Texas, the development of the latest ‘player friendly’ pitches used in contact sports such as soccer and rugby is a recent event. These so-called ‘3rd Generation’ pitches, developed in the last 3-4 years, bear little resemblance to the first pitches (fields) installed in the 1970s that were heavily criticised for knee injuries and friction burns.

 

Changes to the types of polymer, design of the fibre used in these grass carpets and developments in the elastomeric infill materials have contributed to growing acceptance both technically and ecologically in a wide range of sports and landscaping applications.

 

‘In 2005 alone, more than 40 million square metres (see figure) will have been installed using 60,000 tonnes of polymers just for the yarns’, says AMI. ‘Add to this, polymers used in backing sheet yarns; and SB (styrene butadiene) or PU for the binders, then this industry processed over 300,000 tonnes of polymer in 2005.’

Leading players, e.g. Ten Cate Thiolon, believe that the yarn, the backing, the binder used to lock the yarn in place, and the in-fill material, all work together as a system. Yarn producers and artificial grass makers continue to spend a lot of R&D and marketing efforts to develop the desired properties.

 

 

Despite the fast growth, and continued technology improvements, the industry has several challenges to overcome according to AMI. ‘There are tremendous pressures with a confusing array of similar products, increasing competitive intensity and the need to invest more money into R&D and marketing just to stay in the game.

 

Consolidation is inevitable, and has already started; for example the merger of Tarkett and Fieldturf to produce an industry giant, and the recent acquisition of monofilament yarn specialist Xirion by Low and Bonar.’ AMI also looks at the Chinese market, where growth has been explosive but investments by European companies face the challenge of competing with emerging local players.

 

 

‘Overall we expect continued strong growth,’ says AMI, ‘But we would not be surprised to see significant levels of M&A activity, with acquisition of more successful businesses, but some mergers, business failures and disposals, as players re-position themselves in the medium term.

 

In addition, the industry has got to learn to address some of the issues we uncovered, otherwise we will see some disappointed end customers, and a threat to growth. ’

 

‘The Global Grass Yarn Market 2005’ is a detailed multi-client research report available immediately. For further information and a proposal please contact John Nash at AMI: jsn@amiplastics.com or +44 (0)117 924 9442.

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ASGi - the Association of Synthetic Grass Installers was founded in 2007 to help connect market partners and their customers in the artificial grass and synthetic turf industry. We have grown into a global presence, focused upon the niche markets of landscape and leisure sports. Take a moment, browse the site - or email or phone us if we can be of help in answering a question or locating information. Phone US TOLL FREE - 888-378-4581 View all posts by ASGi

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