Impact of COVID-19 on global cement markets

Published 01 June 2020

Over the course of just a few months the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the global cement market landscape completely and, as the situation continues to unfold, visibility is low. Within the context of this unprecedented experience, Paul Roger, head of Exane BNP Paribas’ building materials team, gives his view on cement demand growth in 2020 and 2021, as well as thoughts on whether cement pricing will hold and what the industry can do to protect cash flow. He also underlines why the key topic of sustainibility should remain central to medium-term planning. By Paul Roger, Exane BNP Paribas, UK.

Figure 1: global cement consumption growth estimates in 2020 – a new forecast

What a difference a few months makes. As recently as February, during Cemtech Middle East and Africa 2020, I gave its first view on global cement consumption in 2020. Back then I was quite optimistic about the volume outlook for many markets, expecting global cement demand to increase almost three per cent – broadly similar to world GDP.

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