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Falling 2Q12 sales of construction materials in the UK

World Cement,

The MPA has repeated calls for the UK Government to take immediate action to boost the construction sector as it announces 2Q12 sales results for construction materials. Ready-mixed concrete sales levels dropped by 13% y/y in the quarter, whilst asphalt sales declined by 16%. Sales of crushed rock and sand and gravel aggregates fell 10% and 15% y/y, respectively. Sales in the first half of 2012 indicate a decline for all the materials, with asphalt the worst hit with a 17% y/y drop.

The MPA has linked the falling asphalt sales to lower road construction activity in the UK, whilst attributing the drop in aggregates and concrete sales to the slowdown in the construction industry following the financial crisis. 

“The dire results in the second quarter reflect the general market experience that construction activity has declined significantly in 2012. We are extremely concerned that there are few positive indicators in the market and our industry volumes are likely to decline this year below the levels experienced in the depths of the 2009 recession. We are also expecting further declines in construction and mineral products markets in 2013,” said Jerry McLaughlin, MPA Director of Economics.

Although McLaughlin has welcomed the Government’s recent announcement to spur investment in infrastructure through a new Guarantees scheme, he has stated that this will not have a significant impact until 2014 and more must be done to improve the situation in the near-term.

Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham.

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