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Cement consumption in Spain increases

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

Cement consumption in Spain has grown by 10.8% in the first five months of the year, reaching 4 887 751 t, almost half a million tonnes more than in the same period last year. If this growth continues throughout 2017, the year would close with a total of 12.3 million t, a figure that, despite being the best in the last five years, only means an increase of a little more than one million t from 2016.

The good performance of consumption in May, with a 15.3% increase that raises the monthly volume to 1 101 046 t, has made it possible to offset the slight drop experienced in April, the only month that has closed in negative domestic consumption so far this year. However, in mobile year data – June 2016 – May 2017 – growth is 2.2%.

"We can not deny that even going bad, the sector is a little better," explains the Vice-President of Oficemen, Isidoro Miranda. "Housing is growing at a rate of 26%, with 13 000 new visas in 2016, and we expect a new growth of 12% – 10 000 visas more – by 2017. This, coupled with a growth of less than 10% in the building not residential, has allowed us to start the year in positive values, a trend that we hope to continue in 2018 due to the unblocking of some actions in civil works already planned, "he adds.

By contrast, exports have fallen by 7.6% in the first five months of the year, standing at 3 762 911 t, with a loss of more than 300 000 t. This fact, which is reducing the margin gained with the improvement of the domestic market, has stalled the production volumes of Spanish cement plants by 50% of their installed capacity, a level very similar to that achieved in the last five years, though the domestic consumption was lower.

"The uncertainty in the electric costs of production, which in an industry as intensive as the cement company, accounts for 30% of the total, and which in recent months has increased, reducing competitiveness of our industry against neighboring countries with better final prices, continues to slow exports, "says Isidoro Miranda.

The Government has recently expressed its willingness to reach a state pact by the industry, from the certainty that betting on economic growth and job creation requires strengthening a strong and competitive industrial sector, able to adapt to the changing and globalised environment and to the challenge of the digital economy.

In this sense Oficemen, is working in cooperation with the Administration, in two strategic documents focused on the cement sector, for their possible incorporation in the respective national plans. In particular, the employer is updating CRECIMENTA 2030+, one of the most advanced within the package of sector plans by the Spanish industry. GROWTH provides 10 measures to reverse the current situation of the sector that go through the solution to its most pressing problems, such as energy cost. In parallel, the Spanish cement sector is also finalising its digitisation plan, pioneer of heavy industry in Spain, and will be implemented in the coming years.

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European cement news