Global Cement & Concrete Additives

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Cement Additives

Global demand for cement and concrete additives is forecast to rise 4.9% per year to $23.0 billion in 2026. This is an acceleration of the pace seen from 2016 to 2021, with gains boosted by:

  • rising construction activity resulting from public and private investment in large infrastructure projects, some of which were designed to boost struggling economies following the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • increasing urbanization – which requires new housing and infrastructure for shifting populations – in developing countries
  • continuing switches to higher performance additives in countries that are working to bring local construction practices more in line with those of more developed regions

Gains will also be supported by an acceleration in demand in China – the largest market for cement and concrete additives in the world – as domestic cement demand strengthens following a period of weakness. However, the country’s rate of growth will remain below the global average due to an ongoing moderation in building construction from the rapid expansion of the 2000-2015 period.

Investment in Infrastructure Boosts Additive Demand

Large infrastructure projects – such as the construction of roads, bridges, railways, airports, and water and sewer systems – will be a significant source of demand for cement and concrete additives. A number of large infrastructure projects have been planned to boost local economies that continue to reckon with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for large infrastructure projects – whether initial infrastructure to meet the needs of an expanding and urbanizing populations or projects designed to repair and update existing infrastructure in developed areas – is commonly provided as it creates construction jobs and new demand for a variety of materials, including cement.

Significant infrastructure projects will be initiated by both high-income and low-income countries throughout the world, including the US and China:

  • The US passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021, which allocates over $1 trillion to construction and repair of highways and bridges and the modernization of mass transit and rail.
  • In April 2022, Chinese President Xi announced an “all-out” effort to construct infrastructure, including waterways and high-speed railways, to boost the country’s GDP, which has been negatively affected by periodic lockdowns designed to eliminate the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to supporting demand through the use of large quantities of cement, infrastructure projects boost the additives market by increasing demand for more and higher quality additives. It is critical that roads and bridges maintain their structural integrity for a long time, so government agencies have come to favor road project evaluations that reduce the need for expensive ongoing maintenance, boosting use of superplasticizers, air entrainers, set controllers, and pozzolanic mineral additives.

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