The confluence of not one but two black swan events including the COVID-19 pandemic and the crude oil price have created a global economic scenario that has now been compared to the Great-Depression of the 1930’s. The damage cost to the financial and job market globally already exceeds the financial crisis of 2009. It is within this context that CW Researchs 1H2020 update of the Global Cement Volume Forecast Report was undertaken.

Global demand is forecasted to decline at a CAGR of 2.3 percent from 2019 to 2024, but given the unprecedent events over the past few months, it was incumbent upon the CW’s Research team to provide additional scenarios, which take into account either a quick V shaped recovery or a long U shaped recovery, resulting in an optimistic and conservative outlook over the next five years.

“In the 1H2020 update, we have estimated the responses by governments and central banks to mitigate the possible after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent impact of the respective construction industry outlooks. It remains our endeavor to provide our clients with the most updated forecast in these volatile times for proper scenario planning at a strategic and operational level,” comments Carolina Pereira, Manager, Advisory & Research at CW Group. “We have taken the step to provide additional scenarios to account for the rapidly evolving economic outlook.”

A negative economic backdrop

The IMF forecasts global economic output to contract by three percent in 2020 in its April World Economic Outlook. This marks the major downgrade from just three months ago when it had forecasted a global growth of 3.3 percent in its January 2020 update. At present the United States projected to decline 5.9 percent, and the Euro Area around 7.5 percent during this year. In addition to the erosion of wealth, this financial crisis has also resulted in large scale unemployment. The combination of these two factors will certainly impact cement consumption in the short term to 2021, with a slow demand recovery. CW Research forecasts US cement demand to decline at a CAGR of 2.6 percent up to 2024.

A similar scenario exists for Western Europe, where cement consumption estimates have been revised significantly downwards due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on key economies including as Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the UK. Italy and Spain, which are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic are expected to see cement demand CAGR declines of 5.3 and 4.2 percent until 2024.

In China, cement demand for 2020 is expected to decline by nearly 11 percent as the country experiences the most testing economic crisis in decades. Chinese first quarter GDP declined by 6.8 percent for the first time since 1976. Nevertheless, the IMF expects China’s GDP to grow 1.2 percent in 2020, although the construction industry is expected to be significantly impacted due to reduced demand. As the economy tries to recover over this remaining three quarters of the year in an extremally challenging global economic scenario.

CW Group’s Global Cement Volume Forecast Report (GCVFR) is a twice-yearly update on projections for cement volumes on a national, regional and global level. The forecast provides global and regional outlooks, as well as detailed perspectives on 57 of the world’s most important countries’ cement consumption, production, net trade and cement production capacity. The five-year outlook presented in this benchmark study enables industry professionals to shape their perspective on markets and business priorities.

Find out more about the report here

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