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Extruded Polystyrene to Expand 4.7% Annually Through 2023

Demand for extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation is forecast to grow 4.7 percent per year to 1.6 million metric tons in 2023, boosted by the following:

  • The rising popularity of prefabricated housing and insulated building panels, as XPS offers a high R-value at a lower cost than rigid board.

  • Gains in industrial and HVAC equipment production, as XPS is frequently installed in pipe and duct applications for its insulative properties.

  • Rising nonresidential construction activity, as XPS is commonly used in metal frame construction applications due to the ease with which it can be attached to metal panels or gypsum boards.

  • Higher global incomes that allow end users to upgrade to XPS from EPS, the lowest cost foamed plastic product.

XPS is anticipated to increase its market share through 2023 as it provides similar energy efficiency at a lower price than PUR/PIR.


Global demand for all types of foamed plastic insulation is anticipated to grow 3.8 percent annually to 8.2 million metric tons in 2023. Expanded polystyrene will continue to account for the largest share of demand through 2023—43 percent—as its low cost and widespread availability make it the material of choice in many low-income parts of the world.

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