In Western Europe (including Turkey), total sales for 2017 reached 243 million m2 (Previous Year 250 million m2), which represents a drop of 2.9% compared to the previous year. Germany remains by far the major single market in Central Europe with 57 million m2 (PY 63 million m2) – albeit with a 10% decline caused by the continuing trend towards substitution with thermoplastic flooring.
France continues to occupy second place in Europe, demonstrating a slight improvement for 2017 with 37.6 million m2 (PY 37.4 million m2). The United Kingdom continued the positive trend for EPLF members: a figure of 33.8 million m2 (PY approx. 33 million m2) was recorded for 2017, an increase of 2.5%. This again puts the UK in third place ahead of Turkey, where association revenues continued to decline in 2017: sales figures for Turkey fell by 9.2% down to 24.9 million m² (PY 27.5 million m²). The Netherlands stands firmly in fifth place with slightly increased sales figures of 19.7 million m² (PY 19.3 million m²). Again, Spain follows on behind at a stable level of just under 17 million m² (PY 17 million m²).
For Eastern Europe, the increase in 2017 was slightly smaller than in the previous year. This region is nevertheless still a major growth market for EPLF manufacturers – at 128 million m2 (PY 126 million m2), European laminate manufacturers there achieved an increase of 1.9%. Since 2015, the EPLF has been aware that just under 20 million m² of laminate produced by Russian member companies have not been accounted for in the statistics for various reasons. In 2017, EPLF members in Russia reported sales of 35 million m² (PY 34 million m²), which corresponds to a growth rate of 5.2%. Poland achieved just under 31 million m² in 2017 (PY 31 million m²), a steady result. Romania exhibited a slightly weaker result with 13.2 million m2 (PY 13.6 million m²). Behind them, in the same order as before, are: Ukraine with 7.4 million m² (PY 6.2 million m²), a growth rate of 18.4%, Hungary at 6.5 million m² (PY 6.2 million m²) and Bulgaria with 5 million m² (PY 5 million m²).
North America continues to be a strong growth region for sales of European laminate flooring: at 49 million m2 (PY 47 million m2), around 4.7% more was sold there in 2017 than in the previous year. At around 32 million m2 for 2017 (PY 29 million m2), the USA saw a gain of 8.1%, whilst Canada recorded just under 18 million m² for 2017 (PY 18.1 million m²).
The biggest increase in 2017 was again achieved in the Asia Pacific region, where EPLF producers reached total sales for 2017 of over 29 million m² (PY 27 million m²), thereby gaining an increase over the previous year of around 8.7%. Undisputedly in first place again for Asia in 2017 was China (including Hong Kong) where 9.6 million m2 were sold (PY 8.6 million m²), representing an increase of approx. 10.8% over the previous year. The EPLF has seen very pleasing growth in Kazakhstan, where figures have only been gathered since 2016: 3.6 million m2 sold, an increase of over 39% (PY 2.8 million m2). Israel notched up 2.2 million m² (PY 2.4 million m2,), Saudi Arabia remains stable at 2.7 million m² (PY 2.7 million m2) and Taiwan reached just under 1.8 million m2 (PY 1.6 million m2), a rise of over 18%.
The Latin America region is again managing to increase its EPLF sales statistics: 2017 saw a 3% growth with sales of 17.7 million m2 (PY 17 million m2). Figures for Chile, the largest single market, rose by 4.6% compared with the previous year and came to 7.7 million m² (PY 7.3 million m²). Mexico recorded 4.3 million m² (PY 4.3 million m²), Columbia registered 1.6 million m² (PY 1.5 million m²), and figures for Argentina climbed to 2.1 million m² (PY 1.4 million m²).