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AMI: New multi-client research report ‘The Global Artificial Grass Market 2007’

Artificial grass demand surges ahead in 2007

Around the world demand for artificial turf is growing at 20% p.a. according to a recently published study by leading industry consultants, Applied Market Information Ltd (AMI, www.amiplastics.com). 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’ (Picture).

While many will remember the pitches they played on as kids and think artificial turf is a niche market, today’s reality is quite different. Gone are the hard surfaces that caused friction burns and impact injuries, and in their place are controlled slide and defined energy restitution. Changing product design has brought synthetic turf into the mainstream of surfaces used for both sports and landscaping applications. 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 €1,250m in 2007.

The grass yarns are made from PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene) and PA (polyamide), and they are fast developing both in terms of the performance of the polymer, but also the shape of the yarns and their bonding into the backing tape, whether by SB (styrene butadiene) latex or PU (polyurethane). 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.

Not only is there a lot of technical development underway but, as predicted by AMI in its 2005 report, there is also substantial M&A activity as participants use mergers and acquisitions to 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.

Supply and demand in the market needs to be seen in a geographically global context partly because of the trade flows in the various components, but also because participation strategies are increasingly global in their implementation.

‘The Global Artificial Grass Market 2007’ is a detailed multi-client research report
published in February 2008. For further information please contact John Nash at AMI:
jsn@amiplastics.com or +44 117 924 9442.


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