China’s balancing act

Published 27 March 2019

2018 marked the 40th anniversary of China’s “Reform and Opening Up”, the name given to the hugely successful economic reforms instigated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, which initiated the country’s transformation from a largely agricultural nation into the second- largest economy in the world. This remarkable period has seen China’s economy enjoy an uninterrupted, multi-decade economic boom and lifted tens of millions out of poverty.

China’s cement producers are mid-way through a key phase of

restructuring as the industry adjusts to expected lower growth

Nowhere is the scale of China’s dramatic transformation more visible than in the cement and building materials sector. Domestic cement production took off under the reforms, rising from just 65Mt in 1978 to a peak of 2466Mt in 2014 (see Figure 1). Over this period, production grew every year for three-and-a-half decades and recorded an overall CAGR of 10.6 per cent. The pace and consistency of growth was remarkable but so was the scale: China now represents 58 per cent of global consumption and every two years uses more cement than the US did for the entire 20th century.

To continue reading this story and get access to all News, Articles and Video sections of the website, please Register for a subscription to International Cement Review or Login