Global Blended Cement

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World Cement

This study covers the global market for blended cement. Cement markets include:

  • residential building construction
  • nonresidential building construction
  • infrastructure and other markets, including roads, bridges, and other nonbuilding construction (e.g., public utility structures, airports, military facilities, parks, playgrounds)

Historical data for 2010, 2015, and 2020, and forecasts for 2025 and 2030 are provided for cement demand in metric tons and US dollars.

World Cement

Demand by Region

Global demand for blended cement is forecast to grow 2.5% per year to 3.4 billion metric tons in 2025, with gains limited by slow demand growth in China, the dominant market for blended cement. When China is excluded, demand for blended cement in the rest of the world is expected to grow above the global average, with many countries turning to blended cement due to its cost savings and environmental advantages.

The use of blended cement varies considerably from country to country:

  • The leading consumers of blended cement are China, India, Brazil, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and Turkey.
  • Most countries in Western Europe also tend to consume significant quantities of blended cement, as these products help suppliers comply with the EU’s demanding environmental regulations.

In the US and Canada, on the other hand, blended cement accounts for a small portion of demand, as these countries tend to use pozzolanic materials like slag and fly ash as concrete additives instead of as components of blended cement.

More cement producers are expected to transition toward blended cement because it allows them to comply with new emissions standards, reduce energy consumption, and lower production costs. The manufacture of blended cement has lower environmental impact because:

  • Industrial waste products like blast furnace slag and fly ash (produced by coal-fired power plants) can be incorporated and thus do not have to be otherwise discarded.
  • Less portland cement clinker – made using an energy-intensive process – is required in the final products

Excluding China, blended cement will gain share globally through 2025; however, if China is included, blended cement will lose market share, illustrating the significant effect of China on the global cement market. This market share shift is due solely to slow growth in China’s cement market. Within the country, blended cement will maintain its share going forward. Blended cement remains popular in China, as it is inexpensive, and as the country’s large manufacturing sector creates an abundance of the byproducts needed for blended cement production.

More generally, further gains for blended cement will be restrained by a number of factors:

  • The limited availability of pozzolanic materials, such as blast furnace slag and fly ash, will constrain the availability of blended cement in a number of industrializing countries.
  • Blended cements are sometimes made using low-quality blending materials and have inferior performance qualities compared to ordinary portland cement, and in countries where the quality of blended cement tends to be low, market share gains will be limited.
  • The growing use of cements made entirely of pozzolanic materials will also tend to restrain blended cement consumption, as will the mixing of portland cement and other cementitious materials by concrete companies (an alternative to blended cement).
World Cement

Residential Buildings

Global demand for blended cement in residential applications is forecast to rise 3.2% per year to 1.3 billion metric tons in 2025. Going forward, growth will be supported by:

  • ongoing growth in residential building construction in Western and Eastern Europe
  • a rebound in residential construction in Central and South America
  • significant improvements in the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions, supported in part by a rebound in new housing in India

Nonresidential Buildings

Through 2025, global demand for blended cement in nonresidential applications is projected to increase 1.8% per year to 971 million metric tons in 2025:

  • The Asia/Pacific region will account for the largest absolute gains, supported by ongoing growth in the large China market, and a significant acceleration in nonresidential building construction in India.
  • The Africa/Mideast region will grow at a solid pace as population growth and increasing urbanization spur construction of offices, schools, and retail establishments.

Pricing Trends

Cement prices can also vary substantially from country to country. The average price of cement can range from as low as $50 per metric ton in developing countries to over $200 per metric ton in some developed countries. Even within a particular country, prices can vary from one area to another, depending on the location of cement production facilities and ports. In addition to product availability, factors influencing the cost of cement within a given area include:

  • local inflation trends
  • pricing patterns for other construction materials
  • supply and demand dynamics
  • transportation costs
  • method of purchase (bulk or in bags)

In much of the developing world, for example, the majority of sales are accounted for by bagged cement, which is priced much higher than cement delivered in bulk.

The global average price of blended cement is projected to rise 2.4% per year through 2025 to $62 per metric ton, due in part to rising energy costs.

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