Expect Rebound in Decking Demand Through 2014, Freedonia Predicts

America's demand for decking will revive from the 0.6% annual drop between 2004 and 2009 to increase 2.7% per year and reach 3.5 billion lineal feet–worth $6.2 billion–in 2014, the Freedonia Group forecasts.

According to the Cleveland-based market research firm, wood products will continue to dominate the decking market, but demand will rise just 0.5% per year, going from 2.6 billion lineal feet in 2009 to 2.67 billion in 2014. As a result, wood's share of the market in volume terms will drop to 77% of the market in 2014 from 86% in 2009.

In contrast, wood-plastic composite and plastic lumber decking will enjoy double-digit growth rates. Wood-plastic composite decking, which saw demand shrink 1.4% per year between 2004 and 2009 to reach 349 million lineal feet, will enjoy 12.9% annual growth through 2014 to hit 640 million lineal feet. Meanwhile, plastic and other lumber (PVC, mainly), which had seen demand fall 2.1% per year to total 73 million lineal feet in 2009, is forecast by Freedonia to grow 13.9% per year over the next five years, rising to 140 million lineal feet in 2014.

Freedonia tied its predictions to the housing market's expected recovery. The residential market accounted for 59% of all decking demand in 2009, it said, noting that the percentage normally would be much higher had it not been for the recession in homebuilding. Nonresidential market demand will rise 2.4% annually through 2014, it said.