Long gone are the days when only concrete was used for the construction of roads, road repair, and other related projects; asphalt is the preferred option of the day. Asphalt – a mixture of aggregates, binder, and filler – is a by-product from the distillation process of specific crude oils. It is used for constructing and maintaining all kind of roads and parking and sports areas. The increasing preference towards HMA (Hot Mix Asphalt), development of bio-renewable modifiers, growing popularity of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP), and intricate research in integrating nanotechnology – nano-clay are expected to provide a fillip to the market. According to the European Asphalt Pavement Association, Europe accounts for 25% of the global asphalt production, with 2500 active production sites and over 9500 companies engaged in asphalt production. The primary drivers of the global asphalt market are increasing road construction activities, use of asphalt in commercial and domestic roads, highways constructions, and favorable initiatives by governments of various countries. According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, 94% of U.S. roads and streets are surfaced with asphalt; the country has more than 2.7 million miles of paved roads and highways.
Asphalt shingled roof is a trending roof type for homes, mostly seen in the United States. In 2016, the U.S. utilized 2 million tons of recycled asphalt shingles in new pavements, which saved taxpayers USD 2.6 billion. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 80% of the asphalt removed each year from road surfaces is used as a part of new roads, shoulders, roadbeds, and embankments.
The global asphalt market was valued at USD 72.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach a value of USD 108.8 billion by 2026.The global asphalt market exhibiting a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period.
Asphalt can be classified into several segments; for the sake of this study, we have segmented them by type, application, and end-use.
Hot mix asphalt, warm mix asphalt, and cold mix asphalt are the types of asphalt studied in the report. Hot mix asphalt helps improve the performance of the pavement and crack road. Adding a small percentage of recycled asphalt shingles in asphalt cement lowers the cost of hot mix asphalt. Among all segments, hot mix asphalt is expected to capture a significant market share during the forecast period.
The roadways segment is the promising application of the asphalt market due to heavy use of asphalt in road pavements, highways, and bridges. According to the Federal Highway Administration, United States has 1.8 million miles paved local roads with its type not tracked. Of the remaining 953,000 miles of paved roads, around 796,000 miles are asphalt, and 158,000 miles are concrete. Moreover, the flourishing demand for construction equipment is gaining momentum in the market; whilst a range of new asphalt paver models are entering the market with advanced technology and machines with added controls.
By end-use, the asphalt market is segmented into non-residential construction and residential construction. Asphalt is a sustainable material for building pavements and roads. Increasing growth in residential building construction is expected to boost the demand for asphalt shingles. It is used for building roofs, driveways, and walkways, preferred for its easy maintenance and relatively simple crack repair and patching. The demand for asphalt is high for road construction, supported by the dire need to fix and repair older roads and highways. Government spending among state and local legislative bodies on road repair and maintenance projects is boosting the consumption of asphalt cement, asphalt emulsions, and related patching and repair materials. According to the Federal Highway Administration, U.S department of transportation invest 50% of capital on the purchase of materials used for constructing highways
Geographically, the global asphalt market is segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is witnessing significant growth in the asphalt market during the forecast period, owing to the increasing demand for roadways construction, government policy led investment on road infrastructure, and innovations in asphalt-based construction solutions. China is the frontrunner in the production and consumption of asphalt in the region. According to the United Nations Statistics Division, China, in the year 2016, consumed 398 thousand metric tons of asphalt for the industry and construction purpose, whereas the total production was 21,716 thousand metric tons.
North American market players are developing state of the art construction equipment to comply with the properties of asphalt during the forecast period. For instance, Atlas Copco, a Swedish industrial tools and equipment manufacturer, has developed a new equipment F800T to meet the requirement of North American roads. The use of asphalt in the U.S is increasing due to its highway maintenance. Concerns about government funding among state and local legislative bodies for large-scale highway and road construction programs are expected to provide an impetus for asphalt in the region. This will aid the road repair and maintenance projects thereby boosting the consumption of asphalt cement, asphalt emulsions, and repair materials in the region.
Europe is also witnessing significant demand for asphalt, as the region has 4000 asphalt production sites and produces about 435 million metric tons per year. Asphalt plays a vital role in the region’s transportation infrastructure.
Some of the key players in the global asphalt market are ExxonMobil, Imperial Oil, British Petroleum, Shell Bitumen, CEMEX, Valero Energy, Marathon Petroleum, Chevron, and Royal Dutch Shell.