World demand for cement is projected to rise 4.5 percent per year to 5.2 billion metric tons in 2019. Gains will continue to be driven by healthy increases in construction activity in developing countries throughout the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions. The massive Chinese market will continue to be the largest driver of growth, accounting for over half of the increase in global cement demand through 2019. North America will also post strong gains as the US construction industry continues to recover from recessionary conditions that began in 2007. In value terms, global demand for cement will advance 7.0 percent per year to $420 billion in 2019. Blended cement will continue to be the most popular cement type at the global level, accounting for 75 percent of total demand in 2019. These and other trends are presented in World Cement, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
India is expected to post the fastest growth in cement demand of any major national market, advancing 8.0 percent per year through 2019. Many other developing countries in the Asia/Pacific region will post similarly strong growth, including Vietnam, Indonesia, and Pakistan. The pace of gains in China will slow considerably from that of recent years, and growth in cement demand will actually trail the global average. According to analyst Elliott Woo, “Because the demand base in China is already so large, continuation of previous growth rates is likely unsustainable, and advances will slow as the market matures.”
Demand for cement in North America will advance at a healthy clip, primarily due to recovery in the US market. While US demand for cement already has benefited from a post-recession rebound, consumption in 2014 remained well below 2004 levels, leaving significant room for continued recovery. Demand for cement in both Western Europe and Eastern Europe will also benefit from recovery in various countries that have experienced recent economic turmoil. Countries such as Spain, Italy, and Ukraine will all achieve significantly improved performances relative to contractions that occurred between 2004 and 2014. However, growth in these regions will still trail the global average.
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