Worldwide cement consumption is forecast to reach a record 3,9 billion tonnes by 2012, according to UK-based International Cement Review in its latest Global Cement Report.

The 400-page analysis and forecast for the worldwide cement industry, covering more than 160 countries, highlights a recovery over the past few years.

It reports that global cement consumption growth slowed by 2,4% in 2008 to 2,8 billion tonnes, recovering to nearly 3 billion tonnes in 2009 - a growth rate of 5,9%. Further growth to 3,3 billion tonnes in 2010 was at a rate of 9,9%, and a record 3,9 billion tonnes is predicted for 2012.

International Cement Review reported that China now dominated world cement statistics, consuming 1,9 billion tonnes in 2010. This was almost double the 2004 levels. India, the world's second-largest consumer, registered 212 million tonnes in 2010, while the US was the third-largest consumer, with demand falling to 69 million tonnes.

World trade in cement and clinker was reported to be 150 million tonnes in 2010, including some 50 million tonnes of clinker.

Turkey was said to be the world's leading export nation of cement and clinker, with sales of 19 million tonnes in 2010, overtaking China which recorded close to 17 million tonnes of export sales. Thailand was third with 14 million tonnes of cement and clinker exports.

The report found that Bangladesh was currently the largest cement and clinker importer worldwide, with over 12 million tonnes of deliveries in 2010, followed by Nigeria at 7 million tonnes. The US recorded close to 6 million tonnes, but this was down from 36 million tonnes in 2006.

The Global Cement Report found that Lafarge retained its top position in terms of global cement sales at 141, 2 million tonnes, and turnover of €15,9 billion. This was ahead of Holcim with cement sales of 136,7 million tonnes and a turnover of € 15,7 billion. HeidelbergCement remained third, ahead of Cemex, Italcementi and Buzzi Unicem.

Holcim, however, has the lead in terms of global cement capacity at 212 million tonnes, 11 million tonnes ahead of Lafarge, according to International Cement Review.

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