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New reserves still failing to match production

UK aggregates industry continues its struggle to replenish its output with new reserves

THE UK aggregates industry continues to be unable to replenish its output with new reserves. This is despite markets continuing to remain at historically low levels during 2011. Industry marketing consultancy BDS Marketing Research Ltd estimate that last year sand and gravel companies obtained consents which only replaced 70% of production during the year.

The picture was better in crushed rock. Two major consents – one in the East Midlands and the other in Scotland – meant that producers more than replaced extraction during 2011. However, these two consents hide a generally deteriorating situation; if they are excluded, crushed rock companies replaced less than 40% of the production extracted last year.

In the industry as a whole, BDS have identified only four consents granted during 2011 for proposals that involved more than 10 million tonnes of reserves.

Over the past 15 years, BDS believe that only in 2006 has the quarrying industry more than replenished the reserves taken out during the year. In one other year, new consents granted were similar to production. However, in the other 13 years, the consultancy estimates that consented reserves failed to match production.

An analysis of planning consents for last year shows significant differences between regions. The Midlands and Scotland replenished their production during 2011. However, the position was bleak in all other regions. In southern and northern England, and Wales, new reserves consented represented just 4 months production, even at the depressed 2011 levels.

For further details contact BDS Marketing.


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