Report: Global demand for aggregates to rise

By |  March 18, 2016
Photo courtesy of Martin Marietta

Photo courtesy of Martin Marietta

A study from The Freedonia Group offers new perspective on global demand for construction aggregates.

According to the study, titled “World Construction Aggregates,” the worldwide market for construction aggregates is projected to advance to more than 51 billion metric tons in 2019, recording growth comparable to that of the 2009-2014 period. Upturns in the housing markets of developed countries and heightened personal incomes in developing countries will drive gains in residential-building applications for aggregates, stimulating demand for more modern housing.

The firm also reports that higher personal incomes will create requirements for additional commercial, industrial and retail space, stimulating construction of nonresidential buildings and boosting aggregates sales. Infrastructure investment across the globe will bolster nonbuilding construction-related aggregates sales, as well.

Crushed stone and alternative aggregates such as recycled concrete, fly ash and slag will expand at twice the pace of sand and gravel in the near term, the firm adds. Sand-and-gravel reserves are shrinking across much of the world, and illegal sand mining plagues a number of developing markets that have rapidly growing sand consump­tion requirements.

As efforts to curb illegal mining activities have been largely unsuccessful, reserves in many countries are expected to be depleted at a fast pace through 2019, The Freedonia Group reports. This will result in price hikes, especially in urban centers where demand for aggregates is sizable, causing construction firms to utilize more favorably priced items.

An improve­ment in the U.S. construction industry will boost aggregates sales for North America, the firm adds, while a return to growth after a long period of decline will benefit suppliers to the market in Western Europe. A better construction climate will also fortify growth in Eastern Europe through 2019.

Hydraulic concrete will remain the largest application for construction aggregates through 2019, when it will account for just fewer than two-thirds of global demand, reports the Freedonia Group. Sales in concrete applica­tions will expand at an above-average pace, fueled by gains in cement demand in all sectors of the construction industry.

The full study is available from The Freedonia Group for $6300. The study presents historical demand data and forecasts by market, as well as demand by product and application in six global regions and 22 countries. Demand data is also given for 15 other countries, the firm says.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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