SFIC: French cement sector to stabilise in 2016

SFIC: French cement sector to stabilise in 2016
27 January 2016

France's cement sector in 2016 is showing "some signs of optimism" and pointing therefore to a stabilisation of the markets after eight years of decline thanks to a pick-up in the housing segment, said Raoul de Parisot, president of the Syndicat français de l’industrie cimentière (SFIC).

In 2015 the market contracted around 1Mt with consumption falling from 18Mt to 17.1Mt. In the 2007-15 demand dropped by around 30 per cent. “Our plants have capacity rates of between 65-70 per cent, which is far from the 100 per cent of operation in 2007,” the cement association president added.

Imports have remained stable at 1.5Mt, but their higher relative share of demand has provided for increased competition for domestic cement companies.

In the last quarter of 2015, the sector has noted a rise in building permits. For this year, Mr de Parisot said there was a 10 per cent advance in construction starts, rising to 380,000 units.

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