Led by an expected 8.5 percent growth in China, worldwide portland cement consumption will increase 5.6 percent in 2006, followed by a rise of 5.5 percent
Led by an expected 8.5 percent growth in China, worldwide portland cement consumption will increase 5.6 percent in 2006, followed by a rise of 5.5 percent in 2007, according to the Portland Cement Association’s first-ever international cement consumption forecast. The growth level equates to an average of nearly 130 million metric tons annually.
The report cites growth conditions in the developing world, particularly China, as playing a critical role in consumption trends. About 20 percent of cement consumption growth will occur outside of China and the industrialized world, mostly in other Asian nations, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South America. While the major developed economies like the U.S. and Western Europe have generally performed well, says PCA Chief Economist Ed Sullivan, world economic growth has been characterized by buoyant growth outside these industrial countries.
During 2002-2005, world cement consumption increased 457 million metric tons, representing a 25 percent gain. Put into perspective, North American and Western European markets grew by only 35 million metric tons in those four years, accounting for 7.5 percent of world growth. In contrast, the Chinese market expanded by 327 million metric tons between 2002 and 2005. The 2005 Chinese market is estimated at 1.2 billion metric tons, or 45 percent of world consumption, and this is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 8.5 percent (or 90 million metric tons) during the 2006-2007 period.
According to U.S. Geological Survey estimates, production has kept pace with growth in world consumption during 2002-2005 through major capacity expansions across the globe. Three quarters of world production increases during this period materialized in China, with more expansion coming on line during the next several years. At the same time, China also plans for the retirement of 250 million metric tons’ capacity tied to old and inefficient vertical kilns.