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UK aggregate reserves still falling short

Quarrying industry continues to struggle to replenish sand and gravel and crushed rock reserves

THE UK aggregates industry continues to be unable to replenish its output with new reserves, despite markets continuing to remain at historically low levels during 2010. Both sand and gravel producers and suppliers of crushed rock were equally affected.

According to estimates by industry marketing consultancy BDS Marketing Research Ltd, aggregates companies obtained consents to extract just 125 million tonnes of new reserves in 2010, compared with actual production of around 150 million tonnes during the year.

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, but 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, with few consents for additional reserves being granted in the Midlands, East Anglia, northern England and Wales.

Together, these regions replenished just three months’ production, repeating the difficulties experienced in these regions during the previous year (2009) when only six months’ production was replenished.

The situation was better in Yorkshire and the South East, where the level of new permissions granted was similar to production, but only in Scotland and the South West did the level of new reserves exceed production.

For further information contact BDS Marketing.


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