Demand for brick and block products is projected to increase 4.1 percent annually to $7 billion in 2010, with consumption upward of 14.5 billion units.
Demand for brick and block products is projected to increase 4.1 percent annually to $7 billion in 2010, with consumption upward of 14.5 billion units. Growth will be concentrated in concrete products, reflecting recovery in key nonresidential building markets. The outlook for clay brick, on the other hand, is not as promising, as demand will decline through 2010, reflecting weakness in residential building activity, especially in new single-family housing. These and other trends are presented in Bricks & Blocks, a new study from Freedonia Group.
Consumption of clay brick is forecast to drop to 10.2 billion units in 2010. Clay brick remains a popular siding (nonstructural) material, in spite of its higher initial cost. Common brick, which accounts for the vast majority of total brick demand, will bear the brunt of the decline in demand. Specialty clay products, such as glazed, landscaping and other low-volume brick products, will fare better, showing positive growth through 2010.
Concrete block and brick, heavily dependent upon the nonresidential market, will post gains of 3.9 percent per year to 4.3 billion units in 2010. This growth will advance from a weak 2005 base, reflecting the recovery of nonresidential building after a long lull. Structural concrete block is the dominant product type, accounting for nearly two-thirds of demand in 2005. Decorative concrete block products, such as split-face block (which has the appearance of cut stone), will post above-average gains, as will concrete pavers, which are available in a wide range of colors and patterns, and are growing in popularity in landscaping uses.
The bulk of demand for brick and block products consists of siding materials and structural products. Siding materials (particularly clay brick) are primarily aesthetic features, while structural products (principally concrete block) are load-bearing materials, which may also double as siding. Smaller applications include chimneywork, paving, sewer construction and landscaping. Fastest growth will occur among products used in structural, fencing and other applications (such as paving and landscaping), reflecting growing nonresidential building activity. The expected decline in housing completions will negatively impact demand for siding products, primarily clay bricks.
Bricks & Blocks is available for $4,200 from Freedonia Group, 440/684-9600, www.freedoniagroup.com