At this year’s Domotex and Surfaces the EPLF, Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring, will again report on the development of the market, as it did for the first time in the previous year. Since the final figures for the EPLF´s internal quarterly sales report system for 2001 will not be available before February, an estimate for the whole year 2001 has been established. It is free from regional seasonal cycles and is based on the hard facts of the first three quarters. The results of the estimation speak for themselves. In spite of structural changes in the intercontinental trade the EPLF could hold its position in the world market.
The 20 member companies sold 252 mil.m² of laminate flooring elements worldwide (previous year: 20 members sold 247 mil.m²), reflecting a change of approximately plus 2%. This keeps the share of the European production in the world market totalling 363 mil.m² (previous year. 351 mil.m²) stable at 69% (69%). Due to the globalisation of the laminate flooring market EPLF members increasingly support or have shares in production sites outside of Europe. These sites are not registered within the sales report system of the association and hence the association does not see these figures as an indicator for a declining influence of its members, but as a sign for occurring structural changes in the intercontinental trading of merchandise.
It is no big surprise that Europe still represents the largest market for EPLF members: 170 mil.m² (167.3 mil.m²) of the produced quantity is sold to Western European countries. With an estimated West European market total of 200 mil.m² (200 mil.m²) this represents a market share of 85% (84%). Eastern Europe consumes a total of 35 mil.m² (32 mil.m²), of which 28 mil.m² (26.4) were supplied by EPLF members, corresponding to a market share of 85% (84%).
The Asia/Pacific-region reached a total consumption of 68 mil.m² (65), in which the share of the European production of the EPLF-members declined to 18 mil.m² (23.7), corresponding to a market share of 26.5% (36.5%). Despite the crisis following September 11th, North America could increase its consumption up to 55 mil.m² (50 mil.m²), of which the European production of the EPLF-members could grow its share to 32 mil.m² (27.1 mil.m²), meaning a market share of 58% (54%). Other markets reached 5 mil.m² (2.5 mil.m²), of which the European production of the EPLF-members won a total of 4 mil.m² (2.5 mil.m²), corresponding to a market share of 80% (63%).
The top group in Western Europe stayed the same, but with regards to the sales of the EPLF-members there was one change of positions. Although decreasing to a consumption of 50 mil.m² of EPLF-production (60.7) Germany stays the strongest national market, closely followed by the U.K. with a dynamically growing consumption of 42.5 mil.m² (25.9 mil.m²). With only slightly growing consumption of 23.5 mil.m² (23.0 mil.m²) France becomes third, and The Netherlands with a declining consumption of 10.5 mil.m² (12.7 mil.m²) score fourth.
Verband der Europäischen Laminatfußbodenhersteller e.V.
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