Austrian demand down, improvements ahead

Austrian demand down, improvements ahead
Published: 20 May 2011

The Austrian cement market continued to decline last year, but the Austrian Cement Association (VÖZ) is expecting demand to stabilise at around last year’s level in 2011 and to begin to show some improvement in 2012, according to its latest annual report.

Over the past three years, Austrian cement production has fallen by some 20%. Public sector construction investments were down by 6.3% in 2010, whereas in the previous two years public sector investments had limited the decline in construction activity.

Clinker production declined by 0.3Mt to 3.1Mt, but the share of alternative kiln fuels was raised from 57% in 2009 to 63% last year. Cement production was down by 8.4% to 4.3Mt, which as a less steep decline than the 11% drop seen in the previous year. The number of people employed in the industry declined by 2.9% to 1193.

The turnover of the Austrian cement industry declined by 8.3% to €378m. The capital investment undertaken, however, rose by 53.3% to €53.5m, of which €39.7m represented environmental investments.  The cost of environmental investments was thus more than 150% higher than in the previous year.

The overall Austrian economy is seeing a more positive development with the GDP estimated to have grown by 1% in the first quarter of 2011, compared with a 0.3% reduction in construction investments in that period, in spite of generally favourable weather.