Germany’s cement industry is expecting a fall in domestic cement consumption by 1.6 %, to around 26.7 million tonnes, in the current year. Due to the restrained trend in the market in April and May, cement producers now no longer assume that the poorer trend compared to the previous year in the 1st quarter can still be made good by the end of 2015. Early indicators – in industrial construction, in particular – have also deteriorated further.
“Investments appear at present to be flowing less into new commercial building than into other sectors”, noted Gerhard Hirth, President of the German Cement Works Association (VDZ). As he stated, the generally positive overall economic trend has not been reflected in the cement market, at least for this extremely important construction sector. This must, nonetheless, be set against continuing dynamic activity in residential building, with demand for multi-storey dwellings still steadily growing, in particular. “We continue to anticipate positive signals from this segment. In addition, the investment offensive announced by the federal government gives grounds for optimism that underground construction will, in the mid-term, also provide additional positive impulses for the cement market”, Hirth continued.
VDZ member companies have up to now shipped around 8.7 million tonnes to domestic destinations this year. Sales values are thus 8.9 % below the level of the same period in the preceding year. This reflects, in particular, the poorer trend in the 1st quarter of 2015 compared to the first three months of 2014, a result of prevailing weather conditions.
The latest data on domestic cement shipments is published each month on the VDZ’s website. Further statistics and information on the economic boundary conditions for the German cement industry can be found in the recently published brochure, “Facts and figures – the cement industry in Germany in 2015”.