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Brighter prospects in sight for European asphalt

EUROPEAN asphalt markets may have lagged behind other heavy buildingmaterials in recent years, but a major new market survey by BDSMarketing Research Ltd suggests this is about to change.

With aggregates and ready-mixed concrete markets in decline acrossEurope, one of the benefits of governments’ attempts to boost economieswill be increased expenditure on infrastructure projects, includingroad building.

BDS estimate that the European asphalt market is currently around 335million tonnes and say this is expected to increase to around 350million tonnes by 2010. In particular, the consultancy is forecastingmarket increases in Poland, Austria, Greece and the Slovak Republic.


However, prospects are considered to be less optimistic in Great Britain, Finland and France.

According to the survey, Poland and the Slovak Republic, togetherwith Turkey, have seen the fastest growing asphalt markets since 2000,but the market has been falling in Denmark, Germany, Sweden andSwitzerland.

The French-based companies Vinci and Bouygues are estimated to bethe largest asphalt companies in Europe, and together with companiessuch as Strabag, Tarmac and NCC, the top 10 asphalt companies arethought to represent around 35% of total production.

BDS say the largest companies have benefited from a policy in manycountries that now prefers the long-term design, build and maintenance of roads, particularly those firms who have the necessary financialability to offer all these services and can source asphalt from withinthe business.

Another key trend identified by BDS is the increasing vertical integration of asphalt companies keen to acquire aggregates reservesfor asphalt production.

As well as providing an analysis of industry prospects, the reporton the asphalt market in 20 European countries assesses recent trendsin acquisition activity, industry volumes and estimates the marketshares of the leading companies in each country.


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