Global demand for cement is forecast to grow 4.7 percent annually through 2010 to 3.1 billion tons (2.8 billion t), valued at more than $200 billion. China, which is already by far the largest market for cement in the world, will register the biggest increases.
Product demand in the country is projected to expand more than the total amount of cement currently used annually in the next two largest markets — India and the United States — combined. These and other trends are presented in World Cement, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
Other developing parts of Asia and Eastern Europe, as well as a number of nations in the Africa/Mideast and Latin America regions, also will record above-average cement market gains, fueled by a robust construction outlook.
Product demand in India, for example, will climb at a healthy 6.4 percent annual rate. Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey and Indonesia will register some of the strongest increases in percentage terms.
Market advances will be less robust in the developed areas of the United States, Japan and Western Europe, with maintenance and repair construction accounting for much of the growth in cement demand through 2010. However, a pickup in construction activity in Germany and Japan following an extended period of decline will help bolster overall developed world market gains.
Demand for straight portland cement, which currently accounts for more than three-quarters of all cement sales worldwide, will be healthy, spurred by increases in global construction spending and further advances in manufacturing technology.
Sales of blended cements will climb at a somewhat faster pace through 2010, driven by their performance in selected applications. Demand for non-blended pozzolanic cements, masonry cement and other types will record the strongest gains.
Ready-mix concrete is expected to be the fastest growing market through 2010, surpassing consumer sales to become the largest single market. Ready-mix concrete companies account for a comparatively small but rising share of total cement demand in a number of fast-growing developing countries, and suppliers will benefit from a favorable outlook in China, where large-scale construction projects will require significant amounts of ready-mix concrete.
Consumer demand for cement also will expand at an above-average rate, stimulated by higher personal income levels in developing areas, where consumer sales can account for half or more of all cement demand, and by new product introductions in mature developed world markets.