"There has been an upward trend on the German cement market for four years now, thanks in particular to the positive development in the apartment block sector," is how VDZ President Christian Knell explains the rise in cement consumption in Germany. Last year, 120,000 tonnes more cement were used than in 2017. "This means that growth has declined significantly compared to previous years, but given the tight capacities along the construction value chain, this is hardly surprising," says Knell.
According to the official data now available, domestic demand for cement was almost completely covered by German-based manufacturers last year. Only 1.5 million tonnes or 5.3% of the cement required had to be imported in 2018. Compared to the previous year, this figure has remained relatively stable, but the official data is still provisional. In contrast, cement exports rose by 1.5%, according to the Federal Statistical Office, to approx. 6.3 million tonnes.
Despite the tight capacities, the industry continues to see itself in a stable overall position for both the current and the coming year. "Because the construction industry is currently still able to increase employment, we expect cement consumption to also increase slightly in 2019," continues Knell. In addition, construction demand remains high. The slight decrease in planning permissions is likely to be offset by high order backlogs and projects that have not yet started.
Cement consumption in Germany is made up of domestic cement deliveries from German cement manufacturers and cement imports. VDZ obtains its information on cement imports and exports from the foreign trade data of the German Federal Statistical Office.
15 German cement manufacturers with a total of 46 cement plants are members of VDZ. The industry as a whole generates an annual turno-ver of around 2.8 billion euros and employs approx. 8,100 people in Germany.
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