The Gulf Cooperative Countries (GCC) market for construction chemicals has seen rapid development between 2003 and 2008, mainly due to the underlying construction boom in the region.
Increasingly sophisticated construction engineering, tight time lines, standards and budgets have raised the bar for the development of construction chemicals and has elevated suppliers to the role of strategic partners in project engineering and execution. Right use of construction chemicals can reduce the waiting time between construction activities, thus directly increasing the capital efficiency of the project and leading to faster completion of projects which in turn will create the much needed liquidity (assuming the demand). The demand for construction chemicals is closely related to the size and type of construction projects and hence concrete admixtures, flooring sealants, and bonding agents are expected to witness a demand upswing.
The extraordinary size of the projects, the stringent engineering requirements arising due to testing climatic conditions and execution challenges underpins the seminal role of construction chemicals.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (chemicals.frost.com), Strategic Opportunity Assessment of GCC Market for Construction Chemicals, finds that market earned revenues of over $770.0 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $1020.0 million in 2015.
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"The future of GCC construction chemicals market hinges on two key areas – product & application innovation and value engineering," says Frost & Sullivan Senior Consulting Analyst Rahul Khare. "These factors will expand the market by surmounting existing construction engineering impediments and helping to bring down construction costs by shortening project time and reducing rework."
High working capital intensity and timely project completion assume great significance for developers. Value engineering becomes crucial because the penetration for top-class construction chemicals has been relatively less successful in small and medium projects, which is a large segment. The revenue streams have to be a balanced portfolio of high-end construction projects and the medium and economy range projects to target primary housing demand in future.
The GCC market witnessed strong growth from 2003 to 2008, triggered by ambitious construction projects which necessitated custom designed solutions for projects. For example, BASF's Glenium series hyper plasticizer was created for a high-rise tower project in the UAE. This later became one of the most successful products in its segment.
The global financial crisis has affected the regional construction industry and in turn slackened the pace of growth in the construction chemicals industry, The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is expected to feel the impact the most. However, with a large pool of petroleum dollars and strong Government support, funding for infrastructure projects and housing projects in low and middle-income groups is expected to remain stable and drive the construction industry in the near future.
"Increasing price sensitivity and fragmentation of the market structure has hurt profitability, thwarting market growth," says Khare. "For the construction chemicals market, creating a collaborative product/application environment with consultants and ready-mix concrete companies, etc to engage the leading project customers is as important as increasing penetration in the small and medium projects segment."
During the short term, focus on value engineering and managing cash flows will help market participants navigate the tough economic scenario, but the long-term prospects for the market look upbeat.
In terms of product preferences, construction sectors, and construction engineering, the chemicals market is at different maturity levels. Participants in this space must identify and target specific opportunities to suit their strengths and strategies. Two important strategic options for participants to pursue are creating depth in technology and application engineering to develop new opportunities and retrieving as well as targeting small and medium projects to gain share from a fragmented market with diffused technology products.
"Construction chemicals companies must continuously innovate to address evolving project requirements and increasingly stringent working conditions," elaborates the analyst. "Devising new products and applications which accelerate project completion is of utmost importance' targeting small and medium projects for diffused technology products will ease dependence on high-end projects."
Strategic Opportunity Assessment of GCC Market for Construction Chemicals is part of the Chemicals and Materials Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the polyolefins market and the paints and coatings market All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Strategic Opportunity Assessment of GCC Market for Construction Chemicals / P23A