After a record-breaking cement consumption in 2004 and 2005, the Portland Cement Association (PCA) is predicting additional increases through 2009. The news was announced during the opening day of the World of Concrete in Las Vegas. According to the association, cement consumption in 2006 is expected to reach more than 130 million metric tons, a 3.7% increase from 2005. An average annual increase of 2.5% is projected through 2009.
Driving the demand for cement and concrete products will be an increase in commercial and public construction. After several years of decline, 2006 nonresidential construction and public construction are expected to increase 7% and 4.4%, respectively, over 2005 levels. New industrial and office buildings, hospitals and water supply systems will be some of the key growth markets.
"Public works projects such as highway construction and government buildings will also increase in 2006, contributing greatly to the increase in cement consumption," said Edward Sullivan, chief economist for PCA.
These increases will offset an expected 2.2% decline in residential construction caused by a less favorable homebuilder market as mortgage rates rise and single-family starts decline.