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Cement consumption falls in Spain while alternative fuel use increases

World Cement,

Domestic cement consumption

According to Oficemen, cement consumption in Spain fell from almost 1.3 million t in June 2012 to 972 421 t in June 2013, a decline of 23.2% y/y. In January – June, domestic consumption dropped 24.2% y/y to 5.5 million t. Production levels were also down, falling by 17.9% y/y in June alone, and by 22.2% y/y in 1H13. This trend is likely to continue into 2H13, with this year’s cement consumption predicted at 230 kg per capita, a figure lower than that recorded in 1962. There are unlikely to be signs of recovery in 2014, although the rate of decline is expected to be more moderate than that of 2012 or 2013.

Oficemen has urged the Spanish Government to open up lines of credit and invest in public infrastructure works in order to boost construction activity in the country.

Export markets

Meanwhile, exports of cement and clinker increased by 6% y/y to around 3 million t in January – June 2013 as cement firms looked to expand into foreign markets. At present, cement produced in Spain is being exported to more than 36 countries.

Alternative fuels

The cement sector in Spain has been ramping up its focus on alternative fuels, increasing its usage by approximately 25% in 2012. Around 800 000 t of waste was used as a source of energy by the country’s cement industry last year. According to Aniceto Zaragoza, Director General of Oficemen, the sector has worked hard to increase its use of alternative fuels, nearing the European average of around 30% use. However, Spain still has a way to go to reach the substitution rates achieved in countries such as Holland, Austria, Germany and Norway.

Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham.

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