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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Tarmac maintain number one position in UK aggregates

TARMAC have maintained their position as the leading aggregates producer in Great Britain, despite losing some slight market share in recent months. In the latest BDS Marketing Research Ltd report on the aggregates industry, the consultancy estimates Tarmac’s national share of the market at just under 23%.

The company is believed to be the largest producer of aggregates in the Midlands, the North West and Wales. Elsewhere, Tarmac are the leading producers of sand and gravel in the south-east and northern regions, and of crushed rock in Yorkshire and Humberside.

Aggregate Industries are ranked as the second largest aggregates producer, partly because they closed the least number of operations of the top five companies in the last year. The other three major companies, in order of market share, are Hanson, CEMEX and Lafarge.

With the recession taking its toll on operating sites, the report identifies 43 pits and quarries that have closed during the year. While some of these operations ran out of reserves, others closed due to a lack of business. In addition, two companies went into liquidation and eight acquisitions took place during the year.

According to the report, the total aggregates market in the UK fell below 200 million tonnes during 2008, representing lowest figure since the early 1980s. However, this year the market has fallen again, by more than 20%.

Following such major declines in volumes, BDS are more optimistic in the short term and say the aggregates market is unlikely to fall further in 2010, with some signs of recovery in the house building market expected to offset any further falls in private industrial and commercial output.

However, in the public sector, cuts in expenditure are expected after the 2010 Election, and although this is considered unlikely to affect building materials demand until after the end of next year, BDS say they are less optimistic from the middle of 2011 onwards, with public expenditure cuts likely to be a negative influence for a number of years.

Further details of the annual report entitled: ‘Estimated outputs of pits, quarries and marine wharves in Great Britain’ are available by contacting Julian Clapp at BDS on tel: (01761) 433035.

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