UK asphalt market: 'turning lower'
First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
The UK asphalt market increased by over 5% in 2010 but the market has already started to turn lower, claims industry experts BDS Marketing Research, which is forecasting volumes to be around 1% lower in the current year.
"Decline is expected to set in over the next two years. Volumes could fall by up to 15% by 2013. The main reason is the lack of new road schemes in the pipeline, once current road projects are completed," says the company.
"However, this downturn is less than previously feared. Original research undertaken by BDS into future local authority road maintenance expenditure shows that, overall, councils are not expecting to cut spending in the current financial year. This is a more optimistic scenario than the headline figures would suggest.
"The annual BDS report on the industry, Estimated outputs of Asphalt Plants in Great Britain, identifies Tarmac as the largest asphalt supplier, a position it has held for many years. The top five companies also comprise Aggregate Industries, Hanson, Cemex and Lafarge, and between them, these companies are estimated to have over 80% of the market. The rest of the market is represented by around 30 companies, claims the report."Over the past two years, the industry has closed more than 30 plants. This represents 7% of industry capacity, although this is less than the fall in the market over the same period. The consultancy expects further closures once the market turns significantly lower."As well as the asphalt companies themselves, the report is a valuable reference document for suppliers of bitumen and other products and services to the industry.