US cement recovery in sight
Ahead of the IEEE-IAS/PCA Technical Cement Conference and Exhibition being held in San Antonio, Texas, 13-17 May, Yuri Serov of Morgan Stanley provides a cogent analysis of the potential for a housing recovery and better cement pricing in the United States with an eventual rigorous rebound in cement consumption starting in 2013, with the country yet again capable of becoming one of the fastest growing cement markets in the world for some time.
By some count, we are in the fifth year of a rumbling financial crisis. It has produced economic collapses that were not thought possible in stable developed markets, a major seize-up of the global financial system – the largest in many decades (if not ever) – and extensive wealth destruction and substantial financial gains (for some).
After so many twists and turns, one would be excused for forgetting where it all started. The words ‘subprime’ or ‘property flippers’ may now appear from a different era. That was when various observers and commentators were mulling whether the growth in US construction would slow for one or two years. And surely housing prices would not fall, not on a nationwide scale?
The non-residential market, having just recovered from a ‘post-dot-com’ bust, had many years of growth ahead of it. And in highway construction the US government had found its swing, rolling out federal funding programmes on an as-needed basis.
That was then. But that was where it started: US construction. At least that’s where the first cracks appeared, since, as became obvious later, there were numerous housing bubbles around the world.