(Reuters) Global demand for cement is back on an upward trajectory after years in the doldrums as developed markets recover in Europe and the United States, the head of the World Cement Association told Reuters.
Pent-up demand in developed markets will increase global cement consumption by 1.5% next year, following an expected increase of 1% in 2017, Emir Adiguzel said.
When China, the world’s largest cement market, is removed, the market is expected to increase by 3.3% next year. The increase is good news for companies like Switzerland’s LafargeHolcim which have been battling with falling volumes in recent quarters.
“Every year since 2009 cement industry demand has been going down,” Adiguzel, who is also an executive at HeidelbergCement, said in an interview ahead of the association’s annual conference in London.
“But in 2017 ...the trend has changed dramatically. Prices are going up worldwide and the volumes are going up in both mature and emerging markets together for the first time since the financial crisis.”
Developed countries' growth
Most of the improvement will come from developed countries, where growth is expected to be more than 3% in 2018, he said, with a new upward trend expected to last for the next five to seven years.
The French market is forecast to increase by 4% and Germany by 5%, while previous laggards like Spain will increase by more than 10% and Italy will turn positive with 1% growth.
New projects getting under way after years of austerity and increased spending on infrastructure are the main reasons for the increase, Adiguzel said.