Source: The Freedonia Group, Inc., Cleveland
Global demand for hydraulic cement is forecast to rise 5.3 percent per year to 4.3 billion metric tons in 2015, valued at $335 billion, says World Cement, a new study from industry research firm The Freedonia Group. Gains will be fueled by rising investments in infrastructure among the developing countries of the world, driven by economic growth and increasing per-capita income levels. Additionally, a rebound in cement demand in industrialized markets such as the United States and Western Europe will further spur cement sales.
However, gains in demand through 2015 will lag the robust advances seen from 2005 to 2010, due in large part to a deceleration in China’s cement consumption. China accounted for 56 percent of world cement demand in 2010. The nation’s demand for cement is forecast to climb 4.9 percent per year through 2015 to 2.35 billion metric tons, in line with the regional average. The maturing of the Chinese cement market, combined with a slowdown in the pace of construction spending in the country, will serve to moderate the double-digit yearly demand growth exhibited from 2000 to 2010.
The United States will post the strongest demand gains—9.4 percent annually through 2015—of any major cement market. Increases will be stimulated by a robust recovery in residential construction spending, which will post growth of more than 13 percent annually through 2015. Nonresidential building construction activity in the U.S. will also rise after a period of decline, and nonbuilding construction growth will accelerate, further bolstering overall cement sales.
Blended cement, the leading cement product type in 2010, is expected to continue to account for more than 70 percent of all product consumption in 2015, benefiting from its typically lower costs and better environmental profile than straight portland cement. Cement firms are increasing the use of cementitious materials such as fly ash and blast furnace slag in their products, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions from the production of portland cement clinker. The type of cement used varies dramatically from country to country. For example, in China, more than 90 percent of demand is attributable to blended cement; whereas in the United States, blended cement comprises less than five percent of demand.