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Recovery underway: European cement demand in 2017

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World Cement,

There is growing evidence of pent-up demand in Western Europe, according to Imran Akram of IA Cement, a London-based cement consultancy, as well as signs of recovery in Eastern Europe.

Western Europe: turning the corner

Writing in the January issue of World Cement, Akram said that – despite the shock of Brexit – 2016 would likely mark the end of eight consecutive years of falling cement consumption. In 2017 demand is expected to accelerate further with a growth of 1.5 – 2%.

IA Cement anticipates steady growth in Germany, driven mainly by housing, while tax incentives for property development in France will help recovery in demand their. The Spanish and Italian markets will see a return to stability in 2017, while smaller markets, such as Holland, Sweden and Ireland, are likely to experience solid growth. Brexit is likely to adversely affect growth in the UK, however.

Key risks in 2017 include the fallout from the Trump win in the US Presidential Election and Brexit, the risk of a similar outcome in French and German elections, and additional regulatory fines for the beleaguered banking sector.

Eastern Europe: recovery in 2017

In the east, cement demand fell sharply in 2016, due to weakness in the Russian cement market. In 2017, IA Cement expects the Russian market to stabilise as the crisis peters out, although a high budget deficit and weak consumer confidence suggest a slow recovery.

Most other Eastern European cement markets will benefit from higher infrastructure spending and falling unemployment. In Poland, EU subsidies are expected to push road spending higher. Overall regional cement demand is predicted to increase by 0.5 – 1% in 2017.

Editor’s Note – Extract from “Recovery Underway” (World Cement: January 2017). Information on IA Cement’s full global outlook for the cement industry in 2017 is available here or by emailing:

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European cement news