Pallets: 5% annual growth projected by Freedonia through 2017
A new study from The Freedonia Group forecasts the global sales of pallets to increase 5% annually through 2017 to 5.1 billion units.
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A new study from The Freedonia Group forecasts the global sales of pallets to increase 5 percent annually through 2017 to 5.1 billion units.
Worldwide sales of pallets are projected to climb nearly five percent per annum through 2017 in unit terms, representing an acceleration from the relatively sluggish pace of the 2007-2012 period, the report says. A pickup in manufacturing activity will spur across-the-board gains, especially in large, mature regional markets like North America and Western Europe. Demand in value terms will grow seven percent per annum, stimulated by overall increases in unit sales, as well as by a shift in the product mix toward higher-priced plastic pallets. The number of pallets in use will rise at roughly the same rate as unit demand through 2017. Growth will be driven by increased sales in developed markets and by increased usage of used pallet dealers and pallet management specialists. This will mean that fewer pallets are discarded each year, increasing the number of pallets in use. The accumulation of longer-lived plastic and metal pallets in stocks will also play a role.
In industrializing countries, production output will not be the sole driver of market growth. In these nations, pallet utilization is typically limited relative to the size of their manufacturing, warehousing, and construction sectors. Going forward, greater numbers of potential pallet users in these sectors will strive to become more competitive on a global scale by improving operating efficiencies and reducing product damage in shipments through the use of pallets. The Asia/Pacific region, led by China, will post the strongest unit sales increases of any regional market, averaging more than seven percent annually through 2017. China will experience the largest gains of any national market in the world and will account for one-fifth of all unit demand in 2017. Sales gains across the region will be fueled by climbing manufacturing activity and increased adoption of pallets in developing areas.
Demand for plastic pallets will grow the fastest of any product type in most national markets through 2017. Users will increasingly select these pallets over other types because they can be easily cleaned, lending themselves to use in food and beverage and other applications where product contamination must be minimized. They also last for many years and are resistant to damage during normal use. Additionally, their recyclability and ability to be produced from recycled materials will be attractive to users seeking to raise the perceived environmental friendliness of their products. However, wood pallets will continue to dominate product sales in most areas, representing nine-tenths of 2017 global unit demand.
Sales of pallets to the construction and other miscellaneous market applications will grow the fastest in percentage terms, albeit from a relatively small sales base. Gains will be stimulated by a recovery in construction activity in many parts of the world following a period of decline. While pallet sales to manufacturers of products other than food and beverages will rise the most in unit terms, sales to food and beverage manufacturers will remain the biggest single market in 2017, accounting for over half of world pallet demand.
Details on these and other findings are contained in this Freedonia study, World Pallets. It presents historical demand data (2002, 2007, 2012) plus forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by material type, market, world region and 25 major countries. The study also assesses market environment factors, examines industry structure and profiles global competitors.
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