In Germany, roughly 29.1 million tonnes of cement were used in 2018. Imports – primarily from the European neighbours – constituted close to 6 percent at 1.7 million tonnes. At around 6.3 tonnes, the German producers exported around four times as much cement.
About one third of the cement used domestically (2018: 32.0 percent) is employed in the construction of housing. The remainder distribute more or less evenly among non-housing buildings (2018: about 33.5 percent; particularly office and factory buildings) and civil engineering (2018: 34.5 percent). Sorted by usage, the majority share (2018: 59.7 percent) is used for production of in-situ concrete (primarily ready-mixed concrete at almost 93 percent, with the remaining 7 percent being site-mixed concrete). At slightly less than one quarter of the cement demand (28.9 percent), the manufacture of precast concrete components is also crucial.
Although Germany’s per-capita consumption of cement (2018: 351 kg) ranks low in comparison to the other important industrialised and threshold countries, Germany comes in at position 17 in the world cement production rankings. In the European context, Germany is the largest cement producer. Highly productive and supplying high-quality products, the German internationally oriented construction-material corporations are moving into the global markets especially through direct investment in sites around the world. The successful international business also enables the companies to consolidate against economy-related risks through geographic diversification and thus serves too to stabilise the domestic cement-production sector.
Nonetheless, the national cement industry is increasingly under pressure from competition due to dropping international transport rates and lower production costs especially overseas. It is for this reason that the cement industry constantly reacts with great sensitivity to the impairment of national and European boundary conditions such as excessively stringent climate protection regulations or government-induced increases in energy prices.