Spain is No.1 in Cement Output, again.
After eight long years during which the construction industry has become one of the most punished sectors in Spain, the country now leads the Euro zone in cement production. The year-on increase from 2014, although discrete compared to peak production levels prior to 2008, nevertheless sees a 14.4% increase in January. Despite overall lower levels since the boom years, Spain is still amongst the top 10 cement exporters in the world.
Before the collapse of the property market in 2008, the real estate industry as a whole was responsible for nearly 20% of Spain’s GDP. Recent positive signs now show a recovery is in place brought about by a number of factors such as the stabilisation of property prices after years of free-fall, a flowing of credit from the banks for private individuals seeking a mortgage, investment funds created by Spanish banks, the ‘drying up’ of bank repossessed stock and the increased interest from foreign investors.
Other European countries that have also shown increases in cement production are Romania, up 12.8% from the previous year; Sweden up 11.3%, the Czech Republic up 8.3% and Hungary, 8.1%. Going in the other direction are Bulgaria, down 4.2%, the UK, -3.3% and Italy down 2.4%.
Recent reports by the Spanish government also tell us that more planning permits are now being issued for new construction projects. This, combined with renewed interest in unsold commercial building land, may suggest that the Spanish skyline is about to change once more with the resurgence of the ‘crane’, so conspicuous at the turn of the century.
Robert Edwards – LPG SPAIN Blog.