Global demand for cement & concrete additives to approach $16 billion in 2015

(Aggregate Research 2-3-2012) (Ohio) - World demand for cement and concrete additives is projected to increase 8.3 percent annually to $15.8 billion in 2015, a significant improvement over the performance of the 2005-2010 period. During that timeframe, sluggishness or outright declines in many of the larger, more additive-intensive markets -- chiefly the United States, but also Italy, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom -- partially offset stellar gains in Brazil, China, India and numerous smaller markets. These and other trends are presented in World Cement & Concrete Additives, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Going forward, global market gains for cement and concrete additives will be bolstered by recovery in the US construction market. Advances in Western Europe and Japan, while below the global average, will be significant in boosting overall demand, as they consume much higher volumes of additives per ton of cement than many of the largest cement markets in the world, such as China, India, Brazil, Vietnam and Egypt.

In developing markets, growth will be boosted by sustained levels of construction activity, increased cement consumption and the growing use of additives to shorten construction times, save on labor costs and draw concrete construction practices closer into line with the standards in more developed markets (e.g., East European countries striving to meet EU standards). In India, demand will be boosted by greater use of cement in large infrastructure projects, incentives to utilize industrial waste products as mineral additives and efforts to improve the performance characteristics of concrete products. In China, already the world’s largest market for additives, increasing demand for higher-grade water reducers (superplasticizers) and other specialty products will bolster overall value gains.

The use of mineral additives in concrete formulations is expanding due to efforts to reduce overall cement consumption and to take advantage of performance attributes offered by industrial waste products such as fly ash and blast furnace slag. Chemical additive demand growth will be led by water reducers. The fiber segment is expected to register the fastest growth through the forecast period, due to rebounding demand in several key markets and increasing use of fiber additives in markets in which their use has been less common.