Cement demand in Belgium falls 2.2% while imports rise

Cement demand in Belgium falls 2.2% while imports rise
Published: 30 May 2013


Cement demand in Belgium declined 2.2 per cent to 6.41Mt but this decrease was well below the European average decline of 18.8 per cent, according to Belgian cement association Febelcem.

Febelcem attributes the figure to local elections, which historically boost public works. The non-residential sector also expanded by three per cent thanks to a numbmer of large projects in Mechelen, Ghent and Halle-Vilvoorde. In 2011, cement consumption reached record 6.55Mt.

Looking forward, Febelcem forecasts 2013 cement demand to fall by eight per cent due to weather conditions, and a further two per cent in 2014. 

Trading challenges

However, Belgian cement producers saw rising import pressures and a reduced export demand for their products. As a result, deliveries fell by 8.2 per cent. “They have reduced export possibilities to, for example, France and The Netherlands, where the building market was hit badly,” said Febelcem chairman Lukas Epple. In addition, a 12.8 per cent rise in imports further puts pressure on local cement companies.

“In the ports of Ghent and Terneuzen, producers from Turkey and Ireland have set up base. From Germany and – indirectly – The Netherlands surpluses are imported to our country.” Mr Epple called on the government to keep the cement industry in Belgium by means of a balanced fiscal policy, flexible environmental legislation and smooth access to raw materials.