Portland Cement Association (PCA) Market Intelligence Group’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Ed Sullivan recently presented their annual Spring cement consumption forecast, predicting an increase in cement consumption for 2021 and 2022.
Sullivan noted while major storms resulted in a weak 2021 start, it is likely that cement consumption growth will match or exceed 2020’s performance. Record low mortgage rates have prompted strong gains in 2020 single family construction. The low rates are expected to remain in-place through 2021, resulting in further strong demand for cement consumption. Nonresidential declines are expected to continue this year and next, but the drag on overall growth is expected to lessen. And as oil prices rise, oil well cement will increase as well.
Sullivan mentioned that the most significant long-term impact on cement consumption may unfold this year, the proposed $2.2 trillion, 8-year infrastructure program. The program expands the traditional definition of infrastructure and contains more than $1.2 trillion in low or no cement intensive projects. If the Biden administration’s proposal passes as is, it could contribute more than 7 million metric tons annually.