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UK aggregates markets continue to recover

Volumes continue to increase but some parts of Great Britain are faring better than others, say BDS

ALTHOUGH aggregates volumes fell in 2012, volumes recovered by 6% last year with growth continuing to increase in 2014.

Production has been increasing in both sand and gravel and crushed rock. However, companies in the Midlands and South appear to be enjoying a better recovery than suppliers in northern England and Scotland.


These are some of the conclusions of the annual BDS report on the aggregates industry entitled: ‘Estimated outputs of pits, quarries and marine wharves in Great Britain’ – the only independent source of information on the outputs and shares of all sites and companies in the country.

Commenting on the report, principal consultant Julian Clapp said: ‘Volumes in the first half of 2014 have increased by more than 10% over the same period last year. While we do not expect the same pace of growth in the second half of the year, out-turn aggregates volumes for 2014 could still be 8% higher than last year, and current indications suggest further growth in each of the next two years.’

BDS have found that Lafarge Tarmac are the largest aggregate company in the UK, with a market share of around 25%. The next largest companies are Aggregate Industries, Hanson and CEMEX. Together, the consultancy estimates that these four companies have more than 60% of the market.

As well as outputs and market shares, the report lists more than 50 quarries that have closed, been mothballed or opened over the last 12 months. Although there have been no major acquisitions in the past year, BDS have identified 26 quarries that have changed ownership during this period.

BDS say publication of the report is timely following the recent announcement that Lafarge Tarmac are to be sold. ‘Our annual survey of the aggregates industry will be a valuable reference document for all companies considering making an offer for Lafarge Tarmac,’ said Mr Clapp. ‘It will tell them the market position of the company in all local markets, relative to its competitors, and will also benefit other businesses with an interest in the sector.’

For further details of the report, contact BDS Marketing.

The report on quarry outputs has been published at the same time as equivalent reports on ready-mixed concrete, asphalt and concrete products.


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