German cement consumption reached approximately 26.6Mt in 2015, some 2.2 per cent less than the previous year, according to German Cement Works Association (VDZ). The outlook for 2016 is more optimistic with the VDZ expecting positive market developments.
"The persistent low level of investment in trade and industry has had a noticeable effect on the cement market", said Gerhard Hirth, President of VDZ. Despite the generally positive economic climate,
no additional demand impetus came from the construction segment.
However, one positive aspect is that the figures for the fourth quarter of 2015 were nearly four per cent higher than in the previous year. "Two extra working days and good weather conditions were a great help both to us and the building industry," Hirth noted.
Imports decline, exports rise
According to the figures now available, domestic cement demand last year was to a large extent covered by German manufacturers. Only 1.2Mt (or around five per cent) of cement wast imported. This represents a 6.5 per cent drop compared to the same period of the previous year.
In contrast, exports of cement and clinker increased by about 6.5 per cent YoY to 6.6Mt, according to figures from the German Federal Statistical Office.
Going forward, the VDZ believes that the German cement industry can generally be optimistic about future prospects. "At present there is a great deal of political pressure to create affordable living accommodation and to improve the transport infrastructure. We are expecting this to have a positive influence on cement consumption, particularly for the construction of multi-storey buildings and in the public civil engineering sector", explained the VDZ president."