The cumulative consumption of the first four months of 2019, according to the data estimated by the Cement Barometer, shows a change in trend in the Catalan market, as it has experienced a growth of almost 6% over the same period of 2018. Anyway, this increase does not yet compensate for the falls that the Cement Demand Index (CDI) has been dragging since the second half of last year, since the interannual variation (May 2018 to April 2019) is still negative by 0.6%. In the last 12 months, 1.82 million tons of cement have been consumed in Catalonia.
Salvador Fernández Capo, president of Ciment Català, considers that “in any case, the cement industry does not achieve the recovery that has taken place in recent years in the national economy as a whole”. The main cause of this distortion lies in the lack of investment in infrastructure by public administrations, which has fallen by almost 80% in the last decade and remains at minimum since 2011.
The situation is much worse in terms of exports, which in the last year have fallen by 31%, to add up to 1.9 million tons. The constant increase in costs of CO2 emission rights, which have multiplied by 4 in just two years, make them lose competitiveness against countries that are outside the market for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and penalize this export activity. Foreign markets had traditionally been the escape route for Catalan factories in times of crisis, to the point of converting Catalonia into the world’s leading exporting power at the beginning of the 80s of the 20th century.