1.1 Definition and scope of study
Cement is a hydraulic binder used in the manufacture of concrete for slabs, blocks, plasters and mortars. Cement is manufactured by heating a finely ground mixture of limestone, clay and sand to temperatures of up to 1,450°C. This stage results in what is known as clinker, an intermediate product in cement manufacture, which is then cooled and finely ground to produce the powder we call cement.
This is an oligopolistic sector made up of just a few leading cement manufacturers: Lafarge-Holcim, Ciments Calcia Heidelberg, Vicat, Imerys and Eqiom. Heavy initial investment and the need to reach critical size are the main barriers to market entry, making this one of the most capital-intensive activities in the industry.
Worldwide, the market is growing, driven in particular by Chinese production and consumption in emerging countries. China is the world's leading cement producer, accounting for over 50% of global output. It is followed by India, responsible for 8% of global production. Cement is the second most consumed product in the world after water, as it is essential for the construction of concrete. In 2020, the global cement market was worth over 18 million tonnes, and is expected to record a CAGR of over 3% over the next 5 years.
By 2022 in France, cement will account for no less than 50% of the market share for single-family homes and over 75% for multi-family housing and tertiary buildings, with the main outlet being construction, followed by public works. However, a rebound seemed to be in the offing since 2016 and until the Covid-19 crisis, driven by growth in the construction market.
As cement is difficult to transport, production sites are generally located close to consumption points, and the majority of distribution is handled by producers who have integrated the entire value chain.
Last but not least, the cement industry is a cause for concern today, as it is highly polluting. Changing regulations and the forthcoming reduction in CO2 emission quotas are forcing producers to reinvent themselves and develop greener cement. The signing of an industry green deal in 2016 confirmed the efforts that industry players were willing to make in this direction. What's more, the growth in energy renovation, which is driving the construction sector, points to growth prospects for years to come. The 7.5-billion-euro economic stimulus plan for the construction industry, introduced by the government after the Covid-19 crisis, has also boosted demand for cement since then.
1.2 The world cement market largely dominated by China
The global cement market has been valued at $***.* billion in ****, and is expected to reach $***.* billion in **** at a CAGR of *.*% during this period. [***]. Asia Pacific accounts for **% of the global market.
Cement sales projections World, ****-****, in billions of US dollars Source: ****
According to Cembureau, the European Cement Association, *.* billion ...
1.3 French market at half-mast
The French cement market suffered a sharp decline between **** and ****, before beginning to recover in ****. In ****, cement producers' sales will reach *.** billion euros, a higher level than in ****.
Sales trends for cement manufacturers France, ****-****, in billions of euros Source: ****
Cement producers' sales therefore fell by **.*% between **** and ****, mainly due to ...
1.4 A trade deficit for French cement
Exports and imports of cement in France can be obtained using the international customs code **** on the UN Comtrade platform. This code covers all Portland cements, aluminous cements, slag cements and phosphate cements.
We note that exports fell by almost **% between **** and ****, with a significant drop in ****. This drop could be ...
1.5 The impact of Covid-19 on the market
sales index for cement manufacturers France, ****-****, base *** **** Source: ****
The Coronavirus has had a major impact on the French cement market, with manufacturers' sales index falling from ***.* in February **** to **.* in April, a reduction of almost half. This fall is mainly due to the closure of construction sites, which has brought ...
2.1 Concrete, the main application for French cement
The main use made of cement is ready-mix concrete (***), which, as its name suggests, can be used directly on the building site. This implies that it is manufactured in a fixed concrete plant. Industrial concrete, which includes processed concrete-based products, accounts for **% of cement use.
Concrete therefore accounts for **% of cement ...
2.2 A market driven by construction and public works
Construction and public works are the two main end markets for cement.
According to the Fédération de l'Industrie du Béton, **.*% of sales in the concrete sector are generated by the building industry, compared with **.*% by the public works sector. These two markets are the main users of cement, ...
2.3 Cement consumption across the country
Cement consumption is highest in the North-West (***), with **% of total consumption. conversely, the North-East accounts for only **% of French consumption. The South-East accounts for **% and the South-West for **%.
Cement consumption by region ****, France, in percent Source: ****
This corresponds to the distribution of companies in the construction sector, since an estimated **.*% of ...
3.1 The market value chain
The cement production and distribution value chain can be broken down as shown above. However, all the industry leaders in France (***) downstream. They also possess efficient transport networks for product delivery.
The majority of distribution is to professionals. Consumers account for just *.*% of cement consumption.
3.2 The rebound in French production since 2016
Cement production declined significantly from the **** crisis until ****, as the sluggishness of construction and public works production had a lasting impact on the sector.
The year ****, which saw an increase in production of almost *%, proved to be a flash in the pan, as production fell back to its **** level by ****.
3.3 A highly concentrated market
The French cement market is highly concentrated, and INSEE counted just ** producers on the market in ****.
number of cement production companies France, ****-**** Source: ****
Moreover, the majority of production is controlled by five main players: LafargeHolcim, the sector leader, Calcia-HeidelbergCement Group, Imerys Aluminates, Eqiom Groupe CRH and Vicat.
Vicat is even ...
3.4 Cement distribution mainly internalized
The major French cement producers have internalized distribution to control costs. The main cement distribution channel is direct delivery by the manufacturers, who have a network of storage and supply platforms throughout mainland France.
Calcia Ciments, for example, has its own transport company (***). [***]
However, this distribution method is impossible in Corsica, ...
4.1 Portland cement, the market's leading product
There are different types of cement, each with its own specific characteristics.
Cement typology France, ****, as a percentage of production Source: ****
Portland CEM II cements are the most widely used, accounting for **% of production. They result from the blending of clinker in quantities of at least **% and other constituents such as ...
4.2 French cement producer prices
The Producer Price Index measures the change in prices of products as they leave the factory. For French cement, it rose slowly between September **** and September ****, from *** to ***.*, an increase of *.*%. Since ****, the price index has grown exponentially, reaching ***.* in January **** and ***.* in January ****. This is explained by the sharp rise ...
4.3 Eco-responsible cement
Cement production is one of the most polluting industries in France, accounting for *.*% of CO* emissions. [***]
With the new CO* emission standards introduced by the European Union, cement manufacturers are gradually being forced to reduce their ecological footprint. From **** onwards, the European Union will be reducing free emissions quotas, and the ...
5.1 Cement industry regulations
Law no. **-* of January *, **** on quarries. A departmental quarry plan defines the conditions under which quarries may be set up within the department, and an impact study and public inquiry must be carried out before quarries are opened. Finally, quarry operators are required to provide a financial guarantee ...
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