Price Increases Cause Turnover to Rise and Sales to Fall

The market for sandwich panels for thermal insulation of buildings was affected by high price increases during the pandemic, due to shortages in the steel sector. While the market volume in value terms will increase by 16% in Western Europe this year, sales will decline by 6% compared to last year, according to a study by Interconnection Consulting.

The pandemic saw a halt in the production and export of steel production, which mainly brought imports from China, the world’s largest steel producer, to a standstill and resulted in a shortage of the most important cladding material for sandwich panels. Experts expect the situation on the steel market to return to normal in 2022 and prices to move southwards again. The strongest price increases in 2020 were seen in Spain with +10% and France and Austria with +8% each. On a positive note however, the experts’ gloomiest forecasts, which expected prices to rise by 20 to 70%, were not fulfilled.

France Faces a Sharp Slump

While all the countries studied expect a positive turnover trend due to the enormous price increases, which will accelerate again in 2021, sales in all countries will drop sharply this year due to the shortage in the steel market and lower demand. In France, a slump of almost 11% is expected. In Spain, forecasts expect a decrease in sales of around 7%. Germany and Austria will lose about 5% of business. Italy will lose another 3% in sales this year after a 9% slump in 2020. “This is not helped by subsidy measures such as the Superbonus 110, which applies mainly to residential construction, where sandwich panels are not so popular,” explains Katarina Gajdova, the author of the study.

Mineral Wool Catches Up

Steel is the outstanding covering material for sandwich panels with a share of 93.5%. Aluminium is less popular among manufacturers and consumers due to its lower insulating power. When it comes to insulation material, the ecological orientation of products, such as halogen-free, is also becoming increasingly important, as Gajdova explains. Overall, synthetic insulation materials dominate the market with about 71%, but are losing a little market share to mineral wool, which accounts for about a quarter of the market. Important producers of sandwich panels in Western Europe include Brucha, Isopan, Lattonedil and Metecno. Earlier this year it was announced that the Irish company Kingspan, one of the largest players in the sandwich panel market in Europe, had bought the steel division of the Romanian group Teraplast.


Copyright: Interconnection, Publication free of charge for coverage regarding the study and InterConnection Consulting.

Katarina Hornikova

> Learn more about Katarina Hornikova

Katarina Hornikova has been working for Interconnection Consulting since 2017. She specializes in international business strategies, international marketing, as well as the development tendencies of the specific international goods markets. She is responsible for the preparation of studies and market forecasting models within the construction industry. She studied International Trade Management and International Business.

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