China is set to surpass Japan as the world’s second largest market in the forecast for industrial gas demand, a recent study has claimed.

While the US will remain the largest market for industrial gas, it is noted in the report by The Freedonia Group Inc. that the developed markets of North America, Western Europe and Japan will record below average growth in industrial gas.

The separate reports by the group, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm, indicated that China, along with India, will perform especially favourably not only in terms of industrial gas, but also in the utilisation of drywall and building plasters.

The global demand for cement and other trends are presented in the group's ‘World Cement’ report, noting that a rebound in cement demand in industrialised markets such as the US, Japan and Germany will further boost advances, though gains in global cement demand will slow considerably from the 2002-2007 period - which was characterised by double-digit increases in demand in China.

In a separate study report, the research body also maintained that the world demand for industrial gases is forecast to increase 6.9% annually to $36.8bn in 2011 and the Asia Pacific region is the largest consuming region, due to rapid growth in developing industrial markets, especially those of China and India.

“In fact, China will soon surpass Japan as the world’s second largest industrial gas market behind the US,” the report explained, adding the Asia Pacific region will continue to record better than average gains, as will the other developing regions of Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa.

The developed markets of North America, Western Europe and Japan meanwhile, are apparently likely to record below average growth.

Although demand for industrial gases is subject to the cyclical nature of those markets, the diversity of gases’ applications helps mitigate the effects of the cyclicality of any single business sector, it said.