Cement use suffers biggest fall since 1936

The amount of cement poured in Spain last year declined so dramatically you have to back to the start of the Spanish civil war to find a similar decline.

Spain used 13.5 million tons of cement in 2012, 34pc less than the previous year, according to data from the cement producers group (Oficemen).

The magnitude of the fall took Oficemen by surprise. It represents the biggest annualised fall in Spanish cement consumption since 1936, the year the Spanish civil war started.

Consumption in december (760,000 tons) was 37pc less than the same month last year, and down to levels of consumption last seen at the start of the 1960s.

Exporting is not an option for Spain’s beleaguered cement manufacturers, who are increasingly uncompetitive thanks to fast rising electricity cost. Exports last year were half the level of 1983.

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About Mark Stücklin

Mark Stücklin is a Barcelona-based property market analyst and consultant, and author of the 'Spanish Property Doctor' column in the Sunday Times (2005 - 2008). He can be reached by email on ms@spanishpropertyinsight.com.