August cement demand falls 23% in Spain

August cement demand falls 23% in Spain
Published: 24 September 2013

Tagged Under: Spain Consumption Exports 

Cement consumption in Spain continues its freefall with the figure for August down more than 23 per cent to 886,005t. Production fell by 7.7 per cent from 1,308,090t to 1,207,891t in August, according to the latest figures by the country’s cement association, Oficemen.

Between January-August, a similar decline has taken place with cumulative consumption at 7,400,946t, over 2Mt less than the equivalent period of 2012. Spanish cement producers have lowered their output by a fifth from over 11Mt to 8,849,288t to adjust to the lower domestic demand.

"Given the weak market situation, the cement sector is working hard to promote exports, and as a result, we sell 40 per cent of our production abroad, putting us in the top 10 cement exporters world," says Oficemen CEO, Aniceto Zaragoza.

"Unfortunately, all this effort will be in vain if the electricity reform proposal is implemented as the government announced in July, as it would mean an increase in our electric costs by 37 per cent. It would be an unaffordable blow to our competitiveness in international markets and relying solely on domestic consumption we can not ensure the viability of the cement industry in our country,” he adds.

Oficemen president, Isidoro Miranda, said in a letter to Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, that “the loss of the provision for an interruptible service and the resultant rise in the final electricity price means that the cement sector will lose almost an entire export market. In addition, a further increase in energy prices can lead to closures, relocations and imminent reconsideration of investments in the cement industry in Spain.”