Demand for Gypsum Mining and Wallboard Manufacturing At An All-time High
Gypsum and wallboard manufacturers understand the importance of embracing new ideologies and practices ensuring long-term success. In doing so, they need to strike a balance to meet shareholder expectations as well as preserve their existing market and business positions.
Globally surging construction activities are contributing to this growth.
In fact, a key factor driving this growth is the rise in consumption of the product in residential real estate. Since 2012, the economic upward trends in increased employment and higher credit ratings that are responsible for the jump in residential mortgages are expected to continue.
However, demographics studies predict that demand for these products will be driven by multi-family construction vs. single-family construction, particularly as student loan debt repayment remains to be an issue causing the inability to qualify for new homes. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2015, 41% of the permits issued were for multi-family construction.
Additional factors further driving these demands include improved commercial and residential infrastructure, improved living standards, population growth, rapid industrialization, and increased income levels.
Supply & Demand
One of a gypsum board's best qualities is its non-combustible core, distinctly differentiating it from fiberboard, hardboard, and plywood. The new high-demand is causing a shortage of raw materials and leading to higher-priced end products. North American and European manufacturers are reacting to this market trend by relocating their production sites to the Asia-Pacific corridor seeking cheaper labor and operating costs.
As a replacement for mined gypsum, FGD (Flue Gas Desulfurization) gypsum, a by-product of fossil fuel-fired power generation industry, has received EPA approval and is expected to lower environmental pollution levels as a result of reduced mining. A great majority of the gypsum used in the production of wallboard now uses FGD gypsum.
Key Market Trends in the Emerging Economies of Asia-Pacific
Some additional factors that are expected to contribute to the continued increase in the drywall & gypsum board markets include:
- Increasing focus on sustainable green building construction materials
- Governments promoting infrastructure growth
- Significant increase in DIY users and booming construction
- Rise in the restructuring and remodeling of homes vs. new construction
- Increasing investment in the construction sector
- Repair activities in developing nations
May 02, 2019: National Gypsum's PURPLE family of noise-reducing drywall products had a new addition: The Gold Bond brand The Sound Break XP with Sporgard™. This high-density, fire-resistant Type X gypsum core is acoustically enhanced, made from 100% recycled materials, and encased in a heavy, mold/mildew/moisture/abrasion-resistant National Gypsum PURPLE® paper.
- Canada's commercial and residential sectors are also experiencing significant growth rates, primarily driven by increased immigration and government initiatives. As a result, there's a rising demand for remodeling homes, which in turn, increases the gypsum board market. Finally, Canada is driving growth in commercial demand as businesses transition to more high-tech, service-based economies.
- Hong Kong housing authorities launched a number of initiatives to jump-start the construction of low-cost housing. The authorities have budgeted capital expenditure of HKD 23,923 million (over $3BN USD) for construction in an effort to build more affordable apartments.
- The 2014-2020 China New Urbanization project was initiated to provide migrant housing and other commercial facilities in major cities.
- India's construction sector is growing at a rapid rate with new construction activities, such as dams, bridges, metro rails, roads, and more. The US is poised to invest 1.3 trillion USD in housing, providing 60 million new homes over the next 7 years and increase the availability of affordable housing to 70% by 2024 in India.
Each of these trends will significantly impact material availability as well as associated costs. Global governments may need to take two steps back to reevaluate the rate of growth and temper it to remain aligned with the supply & demand, both current and futuristic.
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