Cement consumption in developed markets has continued to experience a substantial decline over the last three months, and demand in emerging markets is also slowing, according to Mike Betts, Building Materials Analyst for JPMorgan in a research note today.
The greatest decline was seen in Spain, where consumption fell by 45 per cent in the last three months, compared to the same period last year. Over the same period, Great Britain and the US saw major falls in demand of 29 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively, while the market in France dropped by 23 percentage points. "France, Germany and Spain showed the larger rate of decline in February than for the past three months, indicating that cement consumption has not yet troughed", said the report from JP Morgan.
Emerging economy markets showed a more varied picture. Consumption in Poland fell by 32 per cent over the past three months, though by 48 per cent in February alone, probably due to poor weather conditions. Turkey, on the other hand, enjoyed a four per cent increase in demand over the three-month period.
Cement consumption trends in most of the emerging markets of South America and Asia declined at a higher rate than in the past three months. In South America, Colombia and Argentina were the biggest losers, with consumption dropping by 14 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, while Mexico saw market consumption contract by six per cent. Brazil and Bolivia, however, benefitted from market growth of two per cent and seven per cent, though Brazil is showing signs of weakening.
In Asia and Africa, demand fell by an average of eight per cent in South Africa, Pakistan and Indonesia. Bucking the trend, India’s consumption remained robust at 10 per cent over the three month period, while China grew at just one per cent over the period.