Spanish cement consumption drops 34.7% in 1H12

Spanish cement consumption drops 34.7% in 1H12
Published: 13 July 2012

Tagged Under: Spain 

Cement consumption in Spain plunged 34.7 per cent YoY to 7.2Mt in the first-half of 2012, latest data from the domestic cement association Oficemen showed and the outlook for the remainder of the year is not any more promising.

For the full year, Oficemen expects consumption to decline by 25% to around 15Mt, representing a 73 per cent fall of highs reached in 2007 (56Mt). The industry could witness per capita consumption of 325kg – levels not seen in the country since 1964 and even more alarming when considered against the context in those years of economic growth unlike the current recession being witnessed today.

Juan Bejar, Oficemen chairman stated: "In the years preceding the crisis, Spain was the five largest producer of cement. In just five years we have gone to the 22nd position of that ranking.”

Bejar added that "the escalation of the crisis and continued cuts in public works have led us to that 60% of industry capacity is under-utilised and the few overtones of improvement in the medium and long term make us fear that this situation of capacity under-utilisation is not cyclical but structural.

"Companies have been making great efforts to maintain activity, while consumption fell by 73%, employment was only about 25%," Bejar said, adding that "in view of aggregate demand expected in the public and private construction, it is difficult for partial shutdowns and temporary employment regulations, undertaken so far, are sufficient measures to maintain the installed capacity of the industry in our country."