Spain’s cement demand up 9% in March, exports continue to fall

Spain’s cement demand up 9% in March, exports continue to fall
17 May 2019

Spanish cement consumption increased 8.7 per cent YoY in March 2019, according to Oficemen, the domestic cement association.

In the rolling 12-month period (April 2018-March 2019) the associations Cement Barometer estimates domestic demand at 13.58Mt, up from 12.48Mt in the April 2017-March 2018 period.

The association has attributed the rise mainly to the construction of 100,000 housing units in 2018. “We welcome this data with optimism, since [the construction of] more than 100,000 homes has not been started in our country since 2010; but we continue insisting that the main destination for cement consumption should be civil works, which remain at historic lows,” said Oficemen President, Jesús Ortiz.

However, clinker and cement exports continue to drop, down 17 per cent in February, resulting in a 22-month period of decline. Between March 2018 and February 2019 exports reached 7.7Mt.

"From Oficemen we have been warning for months about the very strong loss of competitiveness that the Spanish cement industry is suffering, mainly due to the rise in the prices of CO2 emission rights and the increase in electricity costs", explained Mr Ortiz. "In the last two years, almost 2Mt of exports have been lost, a figure equivalent to the average annual production of three cement factories," he added.

"In addition, in the first two months of the year imports of cement from non-EU countries have grown by 30 per cent, driven by the high production costs we have in Spain and the competitive voracity of countries such as Turkey and Algeria, where devaluations monetary policies are leading to a significant decline in competitiveness and production in our country,” said Mr Ortiz.

Published under Cement News

Tagged Under: Spain Consumption Exports Oficemen