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Global cement market controlled by China and India

Industry Sector



11 January 2013


Alex De Angelis

Type of News


The global cement market increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.39% between 2007 and 2011, the recovery in demand after the global financial crisis in 2009, to reach a market value of $457.2 billion.

The market posted a growth of 6.2% and 10.4% in 2010 and 2011 respectively, and is expected to record a CAGR of 7.81% through to 2016, in anticipation of the growing global construction industry and the improved performance of the global economy, following the easing European crisis.

In the most general sense of the word, cement is a binder, a substance that sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together. The word "cement" traces to the Romans, who used the term opus caementicium to describe masonry resembling modern concrete that was made from crushed rock with burnt lime as binder.

The volcanic ash and pulverised brick additives that were added to the burnt lime to obtain a hydraulic binder were later referred to as cementum, cimentum, cäment, and cement.

The most important use of cement is the production of mortar and concrete -- the bonding of natural or artificial aggregates to form a strong building material that is durable in the face of normal environmental effects.

Recent years have seen the cement industry grow dynamically with most of the actions taking place in emerging economies. Despite the ongoing financial crisis the global economy is facing, the need for housing and continued government investments in infrastructure development by emerging economies is offsetting downturn in mature markets.

China, followed by India, United States, Japan and Russia, represent the largest producers and consumers of cement worldwide. Other countries featuring prominently on the global cement space include Spain, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Turkey, and Brazil.

In terms of the industry, China remains the largest regional market, where construction contractors, followed by concrete product producers represent the largest markets for cement. The fastest growing market, however, would be ready-mix concrete producers, as they benefit from ban imposed by the Chinese government on mortar and concrete mixing at construction sites.

Meanwhile, the second largest regional market, India, would see cement demand advance the fastest for the ready-mix concrete producers market. Though demand from consumers, the largest cement market, would continue to grow, it would lose share to ready-mix concrete producers and concrete products producers markets.

The global marketplace is characterized by participants such as Lafarge (France), Holcim (Switzerland), Cemex (Mexico), HeidelbergCement (Germany) and Italcementi (Italy), which represent the five leading manufacturers of cement.

For more information on the global cement market, see the latest research: Global Cement Market

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