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European Fiber Reinforced Plastics Market Report 2021
 July 18, 2022
 
After a long period of growth from 2013 to 2018, the Covid-19 pandemic and many other negative factors that started in February 2020 have severely affected not only the economy as a whole, but the industrial sector and the composites market in particular.

Composite production in Europe fell by more than 15% between 2018 and 2020. In 2021, this trend is clearly reversed, with a growth rate of 18.3% and a total composite market of 2.962 million tons. This market has grown so rapidly that after just two years, it has almost returned to the pre-crisis level of 2018 (3.046 million tonnes). This growth is significantly higher than the 5.3% overall economic growth for 2021 reported by the European Commission.

The global composites market is also growing strongly, increasing from 11.2 million tons to 12.1 million tons in 2021, a growth rate of 8%. Overall, the growth momentum of the European market is higher than that of the global market. Europe's share of the world market is about 25%, similar to that of the United States. Asia currently accounts for around 50% of global production.

While the impact of Covid-19 has long dominated global market activity (and Europe is no exception), its impact in Europe is slowing. The industrial sector faces many other challenges in 2021, but their impact on the fiber composites industry varies widely. These challenges include: continued weakness in European auto sales; aviation has not regained its former strength; logistics costs are very high, and energy costs have recently risen high; lack of supplies of raw materials and semi-finished products; in addition, a marked increase in political tensions, such as the current war in Ukraine.

All of these factors have led to great uncertainty in the market, complicating the task of forecasting future developments. Markets are becoming more volatile. The very strong international connections in the composites industry also mean that events outside the core market have a significant impact on market activity.
 
Despite the many obstacles, important application areas have very positive developments in 2021. The market share of composite materials (excluding carbon fiber reinforced materials) by application in 2021 is: transportation (52.8%), construction (18.7%), electrical/electronics (18.4), sports and entertainment (8.5%), other ( 1.6%).

Regionally, Germany, Spain/Portugal, Italy and Eastern European countries continue to maintain their strong positions in the European environment. Germany remains the country with the highest trading volume in the market, accounting for nearly 20% of the total market. These four regions together account for two-thirds of the European market transaction volume.

Glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) still account for more than 95% of the overall market. In contrast, other material systems such as CRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) and NRP (Natural Fiber Reinforced Plastic) are still considered specialty materials. However, they continue to be actively developed in the corresponding fields of application.