The effects of the activity stoppage due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been negative for the Catalan cement industry. Consumption in Catalonia has been reduced by 195,800 tons (17%) during the months of March to August 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year, according to provisional data from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. Although the drop in cement consumption has lessened in recent months (in August it was 3.3%), year-on-year consumption (the last 12 months) stands at just over 2 million tons, less than 270 kg per capita , almost a third lower than the average for the European Union, which is 377 kg.
Catalan factories have had to adjust production, which has fallen by around 13% during these first 6 months of the pandemic. Only exports have remained, but at a very low level, after the sharp decline experienced in 2019.
The prospects for the immediate future of the sector are uncertain. Salvador Fernández Capo, president of Ciment Català, affirms that “the reestablishment of our industry and the Construction sector as a whole requires dedicating a good part of the 140 billion euros that Spain will receive from the European Union Recovery Mechanism to promotion and tenders for public works and housing”.
For the president of the Catalan association “it is urgent and essential to bet on Construction both to reactivate activity and employment, and to consolidate the country’s competitiveness in a new world scenario marked by the energy transition, the fight against Climate change, the digitization of companies and the availability of logistics and health infrastructures that minimize future emergencies”.