US experts predict cement consumption this year to increase more than five per cent over 2004 levels, despite this year’s hurricanes. Residential construction is expected to decline due to raising mortgage rates in 2006; however, increases in commercial construction and public works construction will more than offset the residential slowdown and provide a net cement consumption gain in 2006.
Closely in line with its summer, pre-Katrina forecast, the Portland Cement Association (PCA) Fall 2005 Economic Forecast projects that more than 120Mt of cement will be used in 2005, an increase of 5.2 per cent from 2004, with consumption rising an additional 3.7 per cent in 2006.
The US is expected to import 33Mt of cement in 2005, roughly 27 per cent of the cement consumed. PCA’s fall forecast projects 2006 imports to reach 35Mt, in-line with earlier, pre-Katrina estimates.