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Cement to Stage Comeback

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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Rebounding construction in North America and Europe will jumpstart a comeback for the cement market in those regions, reversing a five-year decline, a new study suggests.

Globally, however, sales of cement are forecast to dip below the 2007-12 pace, expanding just over 5 percent per year through 2017 to reach 4.7 billion metric tons, according to “World Cement,” a report by The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Turnaround in North America, Europe

The North American and European markets, which saw severe declines in cement consumption from 2008 to 2011 and stagnating demand in 2012, will increase between 4 and 6 percent per year through 2017, Freedonia reports.

medical center
©iStock.com / MSRPhoto

Worldwide demand for cement is likely to increase more than 5 percent per year through 2017 to 4.7 billion metric tons. Commercial and residential construction is expected to contribute to the growth.

The growth in cement demand will be due to recovery from the financial crises and rebounding residential, commercial and public-works construction, the report says.

If the projections are on the mark, the turnaround for North America would be dramatic, as demand is forecast to rebound from a 5.2 percent average annual retreat during 2007-12 to an annual expansion of 5.4 percent between 2012 and 2017.

Eastern Europe will record faster growth per year (5.6 percent) through 2017 than Western Europe (4.4 percent), according to Freedonia.

The U.S., Spain, Ukraine, Russia, and Italy are expected to perform particularly well, as there is considerable pent-up cement demand in each of these markets, the report concludes.

China Losing its Footing?

Growth in China—the world’s leading consumer of cement—is also expected to decelerate noticeably in the coming years after more than a decade of rapid gains, the report concludes.

World Cement
© The Freedonia Group Inc.

However, the country will still be responsible for more than 50 percent of all additional cement demand generated between 2012 and 2017.

Cement demand in Asia/Pacific will accelerate at a pace of 5.2 percent per year, reaching 3.5 billion metric tons in 2017—well below the 8.5 percent increase per year seen between 2007 and 2012.

Infrastructure Heats Up

Freedonia says the non-building segment of the global cement market is expected to outpace its counterpart, as governments in both developing and industrialized countries invest heavily in public infrastructure.

Federal Highway Administration
Federal Highway Administration

Both developing and industrialized countries are forecast to invest heavily in public infrastructure, according to the report.

Blended cement is projected to account for three-fourths of all new product demand generated between 2012 and 2017, the report says.

Also, Freedonia reports that Portland cement will lose market share but will still be used extensively in higher-end applications.  

Specific figures on those trends were not immediately available Tuesday.


Tagged categories: Cement; Concrete; Freedonia; Market forecasts; Market trends; Trends

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