Worldwide demand for cement is expected to grow by more than 1 billion tonnes between 2014 and 2019 to reach 5.2 billion tonnes, according to a new study by Freedonia Group. Robust growth in many developing markets will be a key driving force, but North America will also see a significant increase in demand.

According to Freedonia Group, the biggest regional cement market in the world last year was Asia-Pacific, with consumption of 3.16 billion tonnes – more than three quarters of total world demand, which was put at 4.16 billion tonnes. This market grew by an average of +8.0% per annum between 2009 and 2014. Growth is expected to moderate to +4.5% per year to 2019 – the same as the global average – to take the market to 3.94 billion tonnes per year.

The fastest regional growth is expected in Africa and the Middle East, where average increases of +5.5% per year are expected to take the market from 467 million tonnes per year in 2014 to 611 million tonnes in 2019 – about 12% of the global market.

Among other developing regions, Latin America is expected to see +4.4% average annual growth to take the market to 190 million tonnes per year, by 2019. Meanwhile Eastern Europe, including Russia, will be disappointing, with just +3.0% growth to give a volume of 139 million tonnes per year by 2019.

In the developed world, North America looks up-beat with growth of +4.3% expected over the next few years to take the sector to 169 million tonnes per year by 2019.

In contrast, Western Europe is forecast to show the weakest growth of any region at just +2.4%. This will take volumes to 142 million tonnes per year by 2019. Coming on the back of average annual declines of -5.0% between 2009 and 2014, this will be the only region of the world where cement demand in 2019 is expected to be less than it was in 2009 (163 million tonnes per year).

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