Air of optimism in European aggregates industry
First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
With 2012 only a few weeks old there are signs of increasing optimism in the aggregates
industry across Europe for the coming 12 months.
Operators and equipment manufacturers have been keen to tell of their plans and
successes after a couple of years when the news has not been so good. The fightback
from the economic gloom of 2008-2009 has not been easy and it is not yet over.
But improved financial figures from many companies, new products and some major
investments would indicate things are looking better.
At a recent event, I met some of the exhibitors who will be attending the upcoming
Intermat 2012 (International Exhibition for Equipment and Techniques for the
Construction and Materials Industries) being held in Paris (16-21 April).
Nearly all of them announced that they would be introducing new and innovative
products (offering increased productivity and efficiency) at the show, but at the same
time some of the major manufacturers gave only brief details of those products,
preferring to wait until Intermat itself to, understandably, give those products a much
It promises to be an excellent event.
More goods news has come from the organisers of another major event, Hillhead
2012, where organisers said at the turn of the year that with six months to go before the opening of Hillhead 2012 (19-21 June), some 350 exhibitors had already signed up by the end of December to participate in the UK’s major event for the extractive and construction industries, with 97% of the outdoor stand space being sold and much of the space in the demonstration areas already allocated.
It is also interesting to note that in Brazil, one of the markets now being targeted by European manufacturers, the M&T Expo International Trade Fair for Construction
Equipment and Mining Equipment in São Paulo, is sold out.
Indeed, according to the VDMA (German construction equipment manufacturers
association), given that the BRIC countries are still intact as the drivers of growth, the sector anticipates that demand for construction equipment and building material machinery will develop positively in the medium term.
Another good news story can be found in this issue on what has been described as
the most productive and modern quarry in Poland. When in full operation it will produce
some 2.4 million tonnes of material each year.
One of the interesting things about the quarry is that, even in these testing times, it was redeveloped as an investment project by a company that had to build a rail link and completely refit it so that it could become operational. While the quarry has a ready customer base, it was still a gamble.
I know that as the year goes on ABE will be reporting on more such investments,
successful products launches, and indeed some further takeovers in the industry.