Results from a survey carried out by the UK’s Mineral Products Association (MPA) indicate aggregate sector growth in 2Q13. Sales volumes of crushed rock aggregates increased by 14% y/y, while sand and gravel volumes were up by 9% y/y, asphalt by 9% y/y and ready-mix concrete sales volumes rose by 18% y/y. However, these figures compare to poor sales volumes in the corresponding period in 2012.
Looking at market change for June 2012 – June 2013, the total aggregates trend is -1%, which suggests that activity may be close to the bottom of the downward cycle that began in mid-2011.
While certain construction areas have picked up, such as private housebuilding, others remain depressed, such as road construction.
“Private housebuilding has improved, but this sector represents only 14% of construction and it is sobering to see the latest GDP figures showing that construction output in the first half year was 4% lower than the same period of 2012. However, the better MPA figures suggest that more construction work is underway and that this market should flatten out during 2013. For a sustained recovery, however, we need Government to deliver fully on the infrastructure commitments made in the 2012 Autumn Statement and for the increased confidence in the housing market to spread to other construction sectors,” said MPA Chief Economist, Jerry McLaughlin.