According to Great Britain’s Mineral Products Association (MPA), material sales volumes increased in 3Q14 as construction activity picked up. Sales volumes of asphalt, ready-mixed concrete and crushed rock were 2.5 – 3.5% higher than in the previous quarter, while sand and gravel volumes grew by 8.5%. On an individual basis, ready-mixed concrete, asphalt, crushed rock and sand and gravel sales increased by 5% y/y, 6% y/y, 14% y/y and 8% y/y in 3Q14, respectively.
In the first nine months of 2014, ready-mixed concrete volumes came in at 2% higher than the corresponding period in 2013. Crushed rock sales for this period improved by 13% y/y and asphalt, sand and gravel volumes were up by 8 – 9%.
Higher spending on road construction and maintenance helped to boost sales of asphalt and crushed rock. Meanwhile, sales volumes of concrete in London are 30% higher than the precession levels of 2007 but total concrete volumes in Great Britain remain 30% below 2007 levels. This difference has been attributed to regional variations in construction growth, with London and areas of southeast England the main drivers of general construction growth.
“Our markets have continued to improve since the second quarter of 2013 and our latest results suggest that construction activity may be stronger than previous expectations,” said Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive of the MPA. “However, it is apparent that non-housing construction remains relatively sluggish and construction improvements remain variable and inconsistent outside London. In spite of a number of economic concerns and political uncertainties, the outlook for the construction and mineral products industries is the most positive for six years. For this outlook to be realised, it is essential that the next Government sustains the existing commitment to long-term infrastructure investment and takes a positive strategic approach to optimising the supply of UK mineral products.”
Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/03112014/mpa-releases-materials-sales-volumes-3q14-785/