The restrictions on economic activities derived from the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic have caused a new drop in the Production (-3.9%) and Consumption (-5.3%) volumes of cement in Catalonia. These negative figures are added to the accumulated losses since last March, and place the interannual index (the accumulated index of the last 12 months) at a 4.7% decrease with respect to production and an even more serious reduction in consumption, which comes at 11%. These statistics confirm that the domestic market has entered a situation of sluggishness that punishes a sector that was already in a very difficult situation before the health emergency.
Although in recent weeks there have been news regarding the resumption of Line 9 of the Barcelona Metro and about new investments in Renfe Cercanías, the Ciment Català employers’ association considers it essential that these expectations and promises materialize. Its president, Salvador Fernández Capo, assures that “if the public administrations do not give an effective impulse to the bidding of new infrastructures, the continuity of the cement industry will be very threatened”. The president recalls that “construction is the sector that most rapidly generates employment and economic activity, with an average creation of 25 jobs for every million euros invested”. The economic recovery of the country as a whole depends “directly on the resumption of public works and housing development projects that have been paralyzed this year”, Fernández Capo stresses.
The employer’s forecast for 2021 indicates a small increase in cement consumption which, if the new announced construction projects are not started, will not even be enough to return to the levels of 2019, the last full year without affecting the pandemic.