The fall in economic activity as a result of the restrictions decreed by public administrations in the framework of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic punishes the cement industry. The Catalan market statistics for the month of October, although provisional, confirm a negative evolution of all the indicators. In the accumulated of the last 12 months, these data indicate a reduction in cement consumption (-9.8%), production (-1.6%) and exports (-16.9%), and place the sector in a position of uncertainty for the immediate future.
Although the decline in domestic consumption in October has been moderate (-3.6%, 193 thousand tons in total), it must be remembered that the market has been sunk for a decade. And the scenario is aggravated by the lack of completion of new public works projects, as Salvador Fernández Capo, president of Ciment Català explains: “Now we are suffering the effects of the second wave of the pandemic, which are added to the sharp falls that It had the first wave during the spring. We do not know how long this will last, because the truth is that we are surviving from the works in progress, but we do not see renewal of new infrastructure construction projects that will help save not only our competitiveness as a sector but also the of the country as a whole once the health emergency is overcome”.
Fernández Capo recalls that the official tender has been reduced “by 30% in the last year, a percentage similar to that of the fall in building visas. These two figures indicate future activity, and this makes us feel very concerned about the complexity of the situation”. The uncertainty about the future in the short and medium term becomes a threat to the continuity of some factories and the consequent employment they generate.