Oficemen: bleak outlook for Spanish cement sector

Oficemen: bleak outlook for Spanish cement sector
Published: 20 July 2010

The Spanish cement association (Oficemen) revealed yesterday that following the Ministry of Developments decision to cut public works the sector’s future looks bleak.

Oficemen’s president, Joaquin Estrada, admitted that "the prospects are not encouraging", and suggested plant closures and employment adjustments may become a reality if the situation does not improve.  "We will try not to close," he said.

Cement demand fell 15.92% in the first half, while production has fallen by 14.5%.  Following the housing crisis, public works had supported the cement sector, but the industry now fears a much deeper collapse.

Development Minister, José Blanco, detailed the adjustment plan of his department on Thursday in the House of Representatives. For every 100t of cement, 60t goes towards bridges, tunnels, airports, AVE paths and other forms of infrastructure which are somewhat in the air given the Government’s austerity programme.

If the situation does not take a 180 degree turn, "we will go to the lowest consumption in the last 40 years," he said Estrada, who recalled that this ratio has already fallen 60% since 2007.