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Market updates on the heavy building materials industry


BDS Marketing Research publish latest annual reviews of outputs in the aggregates, asphalt and concrete markets

FOR almost 30 years, leading industry specialists BDS Marketing Research have published their annual reviews of outputs in the major heavy building materials markets. The latest reports have just been issued, with separate publications covering the aggregates, asphalt, ready-mixed concrete and key concrete products markets now available.

One of the key findings is that outputs weakened in the key markets of aggregates, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete, with all down by around 1% year on year.


Further changes in company and site ownership following disposals and acquisitions have affected market shares, particularly in regional markets, but Tarmac have emerged as the leading supplier in the key markets. They have retained that position in both aggregates and ready-mixed concrete, and have replaced Hanson as the leading producer of ready-mixed concrete, albeit with only a slightly larger market share.

The top five companies are the same in each of these markets, albeit with varying positions depending on the product. Aggregate Industries, CEMEX and Breedon complete the picture. The market share of the top five is around 72% in aggregates (including marine sand and gravel), 81% in the asphalt market and 63% in the ready-mixed concrete market (which includes mobile batching plants, ie volumetric trucks).

With the exception of Hanson, each of these companies is involved in the manufacture of one or more concrete products. Tarmac hold the largest share of the building block market (including aircrete), while Marshalls lead the way in block paving and paving slab manufacture. Separate reports are available for each of these products. These three markets all saw growth of between 1% and 5% over the previous year.

These are some of the conclusions from the annual BDS reports, which represent the only independent source of information on the outputs and shares of all sites and companies in Great Britain.

Each report provides estimated outputs at individual site level, with volumes and market shares shown at county, regional and national level. Aside from the five major producers, there are significant numbers of sites and producing companies in each sector, many with a strong regional or local presence.

Details of planning activity for extensions and new facilities, supporting existing and proposed growth across the industry, are also included. BDS monitor each of the 400+ planning authorities on an ongoing basis to track new schemes and decisions on existing proposals.

Each report also contains an economy-wide construction forecast for the next four years, along with a product-specific forecast. BDS expect each sector to continue to continue to be relatively flat until 2020, due partly to major infrastructure project delays and Brexit uncertainty. The early part of the next decade is expected to see all sectors return to growth, underpinned by increased housing construction and the delivery of the Government’s infrastructure programme.

Further details of these reports and other market sectors are available by contacting Andy Sales at BDS. Tel: (01761) 433035; email: [email protected]; or visit:

BDS also prepare market surveys and reports for individual clients in these sectors, which can include customer research, new product development, company profiles and acquisition appraisals, and analysis of markets and prices.


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