Worldwide demand for cement could reach 4.7 billion tonnes in 2017, according to World Cement, the latest study from market research company The Freedonia Group.

Cement sales are forecast to expand by more than +5% a year between now and 2017, which represents a slight decline in pace from the 2007-2012 period.

However, for markets such as North America and Western Europe, which were hit hard by the global economic recession and therefore saw demand for cement stagnate or decline, cement consumption is expected to rebound sharply by as much as +6%.

Eastern Europe is also tipped to perform much better by the Freedonia analysts.

China, which has led demand for cement in recent years, will see levels decelerate. Despite this, it will still command more than 50% of all additional cement demand between now and 2017.

Product sales in China are projected to rise nearly +5% a year during this period, still a healthy growth but down considerably on its double-digit pace of the last decade. Demand for cement in the rest of the Asia/Pacific region will accelerate.

According to Freedonia, the nonbuilding segment of the global cement market is expected to outperform its counterparts, as governments in both developed and industrializing countries invest heavily in public infrastructure.

Blended cement is projected to account for 75% of all new product demand generated between 2012 and 2017. Despite losing market share, the forcast is for Portland cement to still be used extensively in higher-end applications.

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