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Spanish cement sector faces continuous decline amidst economic hurdles

Spain: Cement consumption in Spain witnessed a 1.5% year-on-year decline in February 2024, marking nine consecutive months of decreases amid high interest rates, surging housing prices, and a stagnant outlook for the construction sector. According to Oficemen, February’s consumption reached 1.1Mt, down from 1.2Mt in February 2023. The export sector experienced an even sharper fall, dropping 13.9% year-on-year in February 2024, continuing an eight-month decline, with a 9.8% decrease in exports from February 2023 to February 2024. Conversely, imports have risen by 11.3%.

Oficemen’s general director, Aniceto Zaragoza, said “With nine months already in decline, the concern with which we observe the evolution of cement consumption and, of course, the construction sector, is accentuated.” Zaragoza called for increased collaboration between public and private institutions in public contracting processes to sustain infrastructure competitiveness. The slump in cement consumption, which has been ongoing since 2019, coincides with the European Central Bank’s interest rate hikes, leading to higher mortgage costs and reduced demand in the housing market.

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