World cement consumption rises by 2.8% in 2019

World cement consumption rises by 2.8% in 2019
24 January 2020

Following two years of modest decline, world cement consumption is estimated to have expanded by 2.8 per cent to 4.08bnt in 2019, according to industry statistics recently published in The Global Cement Report, 13th Edition.

The rise in demand is largely accounted for by the expansion of the Chinese cement market in 2019, which reached an estimated 2.28bnt, up 4.9 per cent on the year before, and accounting for 56 per cent of global consumption.

Share of cement consumption – China vs rest of world, 2019

The scale of China's cement consumption can best be illustrated by comparing it to the United States: over the last two years alone, China has consumed 4.44bnt of cement, more than the United States did over the entire 20th century.

However, following an astonishing three-decade run of interrupted growth, China’s cement consumption faltered in 2015, falling by five per cent as the economy slowed and the government throttled back on its intensive building programmes, as it attempted to follow a more sustainable growth path for the country.

Over the long-term, Chinese cement consumption is set to decline at an average rate of 2.5 per cent per year (although volumes may experience periodic annual growth rates).

Annual cement consumption growth (%) – China vs rest of world, 2014-19

Excluding China, world cement consumption is estimated to have remained flat at 1.81bnt, nudging up just 0.3 per cent YoY.

Growth in the world’s second-largest market, India, was weaker than expected at three per cent, but this reflected a strong base for comparison from the previous year, when annual growth exceeded 15 per cent.

In the US demand is estimated to have expanded by 2.1 per cent in 2019, pushing overall consumption back over the 100Mt mark for the first time since 2007, which marks the starting point of the market’s collapse due to the subprime crisis and Great Recession.

By region, the highest growth rates were recorded in sub-Saharan Africa at 5-6 per cent, although the combined region represents just 101Mt of cement consumption – equally to the entire US. However, on a per capita basis, sub-Saharan African countries have some of the lowest consumption levels worldwide. As a region, per capita cement consumption is just 91kg, compared to the global average of 521kg, reflecting both the huge potential of the region in the future but also the low level of development in the region at present.

The Global Cement Report, 13th Edition is out now and available to purchase. With over 170 country profiles, the fully updated statistics and online times-series database, the report is widely acknowledged as the leading statistical reference for the worldwide cement sector.

Published under Cement News