Global Demand for Cement and Concrete Additives to Exceed $21 Billion

Global demand for cement and concrete additives is projected to increase 9.3 percent annually to $21.2 billion in 2017.  According to analyst Mike Richardson, “Although growth in world cement consumption will decelerate from that of the 2007-2012 period, a number of factors will contribute to robust value growth for additives.” 

Additive loadings are increasing in all but the most developed markets, and even in those, fiber additive usage is becoming more prevalent. A shift to higher-performance water reducers and other chemical additives will drive value gains, particularly in developing markets. Finally, while growth in overall cement consumption will decelerate, much of this slowdown will occur in large cement markets that are low-intensity additive users. These and other trends are presented in World Cement & Concrete Additives, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Growth to rebound

Growth in cement use in the United States, Italy, Spain, and several other developed markets will rebound as construction markets recover from recent disastrous periods, which will fuel above average gains for additives. In contrast, the construction markets of many developing countries were not affected (or much less so) by the recent economic downturn. In these areas, gains will be prompted by increased additive usage, and a move to higher-value additives to produce concrete that meets increasingly stringent performance expectations.  In China, which accounted for nearly three-fifths of the world’s cement demand and more than one-quarter of additive demand in 2012, increased use of high-performance superplasticizers will sustain growth for additives, even as growth in construction activity and cement demand decelerates.

Chemical additives will post strong growth through 2017 as many significant markets for chemical additives rebound.  In developing markets, use of higher loadings and higher-value products will boost demand. Demand for minerals will post healthy gains, although below the overall pace due to the increased use of fly ash, slag, and other materials as components of blended cement, rather than as concrete additives. On a world level, the shift to greater use of blended cement is mostly attributable to China, where blended cement dominates and the sheer size of its cement market results in a gravitational pull on the markets for cement and for concrete additives. While much smaller, the fibers segment will post the fastest growth, due to overall increases in the use of fibers in concrete.

World Cement & Concrete Additives (published 03/2014, 397 pages) is available for $6,100 from The Freedonia Group, Inc. For more information, contact Corinne Gangloff by phone (440) 684-9600 or e-mail Information may also be obtained through