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UK aggregates markets going into reverse

Production in 2012 likely to fall to a level not seen since the early 1960s, says annual BDS report 

DESPITE a slight improvement in 2010 and 2011, UK aggregates markets are set to go lower this year. While in 2011 the production of sand and gravel and crushed rock was around 160 million tonnes, this year production is likely to fall to around 145 million tonnes – a level not seen since the early 1960s and just half of what the market achieved at the height of the building boom in 1989.

These are some of the conclusions of the latest annual report entitled: ‘Estimated outputs of pits, quarries and marine wharves in Great Britain’, published by industry marketing consultants BDS Marketing Research Ltd.


According to BDS, markets continue to remain patchy. While sand and gravel demand in the South East has been rising, due to increased markets for ready-mixed concrete, crushed rock producers in Scotland have faced a difficult time with 2011 volumes much lower than the previous year.

BDS say they expect the aggregates market to decline by around 10% during 2012, but forecast a bottoming out of volumes in 2013, with some hesitant recovery in the second half of next year.

The report shows that Tarmac maintained their position as the leading aggregates producer in Great Britain, with a current estimated national share of around 20%. The top five companies are completed by Aggregate Industries, Hanson, CEMEX and Lafarge, who together are estimated to represent around 70% of production. The current supply situation will change, however, when the proposed joint venture is formed between Tarmac and Lafarge.

For further details of the report, contact BDS Marketing.



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