Spain: domestic cement consumption falls 3.1% in 2016

Spain: domestic cement consumption falls 3.1% in 2016
31 January 2017

Spain's total cement consumption for 2016 reached 11,140,639t, down more than 350,000t compared to 2015 and representing a 3.1 per cent YoY fall. December's monthly figure was equally as poor, down 3.8 per cent YoY to 804,372t.

Disappointing domestic sales were offset, albeit only in part, by a growth in export volumes of 5.6 per cent to 9,782,631t.

"After almost a decade of deep crisis, the outlook for 2017 is very worrying," explains the president of Oficemen, Jaime Ruiz de Haro. "Just a few days ago the Ministry of Public Works has already anticipated that due to the requirements of meeting the public deficit target, 2017 would be a 'complicated' year for infrastructure investment, with a total endowment even lower than that of the year ended, and beating a new historical low. "

The Department of Studies of Oficemen predicts a stagnant 2017, with growth rates of less than one per cent. However, these figures depend to a large extent on the expected positive evolution of residential construction. "The issue is that it would be necessary for housing to grow exponentially in order to compensate for the fall in cement consumption due to the stoppage in infrastructure," Oficemen CEO, Aniceto Zaragoza, said.

"During the crisis, the social perception about the need for infrastructure in Spain has been strengthened in that everything is already built and that it is not necessary to build more. But when we talk about public works in Spain, we forget about social infrastructures, which are also part of it. We are talking about those dedicated to protected housing, health or education, which are not only necessary, but are one of the priority demands of Spanish society," explains Mr Zaragoza.

The numbers speak for themselves. According to the latest CIS survey of the Spanish population on Public Opinion and Fiscal Policy, only 23.6 per cent of Spaniards believe that investment in public works is insufficient.

Energy costs hit Spanish cement producers
The domestic cement sector is also finding it hard to increase margins with domestic energy price rises. Spain's electricity cost is the highest in Europe.
The increasing cost of energy could also jeopardize the country's leadership position, which is now at the top of the European Union in exports, both intra and extra community, says Oficemen.

Published under Cement News