Sale of wood and rigid SPC products continues to grow amid pandemic

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The 2020 global sales figures of members in Europe’s Multilayer Modular Flooring Association (MMFA) show that while wood products continue to grow with a global increase in sales of +18.82% and rigid stone plastic composite (SPC) products maintain their market penetration across all major regions with a steady growth of +34.8%, the growth of the “polymer” product category has been affected by COVID-19 as sales only revealed a modest rise of +3.1% at the end of the year. Overall, sales spiked in Q3 in an attempt to recuperate the setback during Q1 due to the early days of the pandemic and tax issues with the United States (US).

POLYMER category: Rigid SPC floorings remain strong amid COVID-19

In 2020, global sales of polymer products slightly increased by +3.1% in comparison to 2019 to 79.5 million sqm. The key driver for this positive end-of-year result were rigid SPC products, which continued to perform well in 2020 with 37.7 million sqm sold (+34.8% compared to 2019). The other polymer categories had to face setbacks with 5.2 million sqm of rigid expanded polymer core (EPC) flooring (-14.31% compared to 2019) and 36.7 million sqm sold of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring (-15% compared to 2019).

The region with the greatest increase in polymer product sales was Eastern Europe, which sold 4.9 million sqm in 2020 (+23.9% in comparison to 2019). SPC products in the region experienced a sharp increase in sales of +153.3% (2.0 million sqm sold) while sales of EPC (0.2 million sqm, -19.3% compared to 2019) and LVT flooring products (2.7 million sqm, -0.3% compared to 2019) both decreased. In Western Europe, on the other hand, the polymer sector slightly declined by -6.6 % in 2020 (37.5 million sqm sold). As in Eastern Europe, SPC was the only product category which grew in 2020 (15.7 million sqm, +28.8 % compared to 2019). This positive result balanced the comparatively weak sales in the other product categories. EPC product sales (2.2 million sqm) decreased by -13.0%, while LVT product sales (19.6 million sqm sold) experienced an even greater decrease of -22.9%.

Similar to Europe, the SPC category was the strongest of all polymer groups in North America with 19.2 million sqm of flooring sold (+37.4% compared to 2019). The lower figures of EPC (2.5 million sqm, -17.3% compared to 2019) and LVT products (13.4 million sqm, +4.0% compared to 2019) led to a stable end-of-year result of 35.1 million sqm of polymer flooring sold in North America in 2020 (+17.5% compared to 2019).

Latin America sold 0.3 million sqm of polymer flooring, which constitutes a decrease of -68.5%. In contrast to other regions, the SPC sector in Latin America faced setbacks of -22.2% compared to 2019 (0.2 million sqm sold). Similar situations were observable in Africa where the sales for polymer flooring decreased by -44.5% (0.3 million sqm sold), and in Asia which experienced a decrease of -21.4% (0.9 million sqm sold). The Australia / Oceania region sold 0.4 million sqm of polymer flooring (+9.5% compared to 2019).

WOOD category: Wood maintains its historic popularity

Despite the impact of the pandemic, the wood category performed well in 2020, with the exception of Latin America. The total sales of wood products reached 15.0 million sqm in 2020, an increase of +18.82% compared to 2019. The region that recorded by far the greatest increase in sales is North America. With 0.1 million sqm, sales more than doubled in 2020 (+171.1% compared to 2019).

With a growth rate of +21.8%, Eastern Europe (0.8 million sqm sold) overtook the growth of Western Europe (14.0 million sqm, +18.3% compared to 2019). Germany and Austria kept their positions as the countries with the highest sales in Western Europe. In Germany, 10.3 million sqm were sold (+25.2% compared to 2019), while Austria recorded sales of 1.4 million sqm (+9.2% compared to 2019). The same applies to the Czech Republic. As in the previous year, it was the country with the highest sales in Eastern Europe (0.4 million sqm, +10% compared to 2019).

Asia only recorded a small increase in sales with +1.2 % in comparison to 2019 (0.06 million sqm). The only regions where the impact of COVID-19 resulted in a decrease of sales in the wood category was Latin America, where sales declined by -35.8% (0.01 million sqm sold), as well as Africa (5.317 thousand sqm, -630.9% compared to 2019) and Australia / Oceania (3.1 million sqm, -69.8% compared to 2019).