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Figure 1: 2016 National Production by Country (mt)



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Figure 1 summarises the 2016 national production tonnages by country and by type of aggregates for all 39 countries.

In 2016, Russia was the largest, producing 592 million tonnes (mt), followed by Germany with 572 mt and Turkey at 522 mt; the next three were France, Poland and UK. At the other end of the scale are the small countries, namely Macedonia, Luxembourg, Iceland, Montenegro and Malta, with a production less than 5mt each.


Figure 2: 2015 National Production in Tonnes per Capita

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Figure 2 shows the national 2016 production data expressed in tonnes/capita (t/c) across Europe, which includes exports (mainly from Norway) but exclude imports.

This data varies by national climate, terrain, state of economy and building tradition, being highest in Norway at over 17 t/c, and lowest in Macedonia, Spain and Italy at less than 3 t/c. The EU28 plus EFTA average is 5.2 t/c versus the 7.2t/c enjoyed in pre-crisis 2006. The data for Portugal, Italy and Spain points to continuing post-crisis national underinvestment, which may lead to future infrastructural deficits.



Figure 3: 2016 GDP/Capita versus Tonnes/Capita

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In Figure 3, presents the interesting relationship between economic developments, expressed at GDP/capita, and aggregates production in tonnes/capita.

In this graph, the data for each country is represented by a blue dot, and the red trend line illustrates the best fit curve. The graph illustrates very clearly that the production in tonnes per capita increases almost linearly as the GDP per capita increases. This is good news for the aggregates industry as Europe slowly returns to economic growth.



Figure 4: Predicted Changes in Tonnages 2017 v 2016

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Figure 4 demonstrates the provisional data for anticipated tonnages in 2016 compared to 2015.

The light blue bars represent those countries expecting some growth in 2015, most significantly Cyprus and Macedonia, while the countries with darker blue bars, particularly Hungary, Slovakia and Spain, had the most pessimistic outlook. There are more numbers of gains than declines projected for 2016, the overall projection for 2016 appears more positive.

Taking the EU28 plus EFTA countries, over the last 6 years, the percentage of sand and gravel has declined modestly out of 2.73 bnt of total production. 2016 saw a further slight decline in sand and gravel to 40.3% in comparison with crushed stone which increased slightly to 47.4%.  Manufactured aggregates declined slightly to 2.3%, marine aggregates remained at 2% and recycled & re-used (backfill) aggregates remained at 8%. The total of secondary aggregates (recycled + manufactured) at 281mt equals 10.3%, though the percentage was much higher in Luxembourg, UK, Netherlands and Malta in particular.

Production of recycled (including reused aggregates as backfill) increased on prior year to 220mt. This represents 8% of the total output of 2.73bnt, relatively static in recent years. Germany leads with 68mt of recycled materials, next is UK at 54mt. Production of manufactured aggregates decreased to 61mt in 2016 and demonstrates an irregular trend. Eleven countries produce manufactured aggregates, the largest being Germany, followed by UK and Poland. The production of marine aggregates remained fairly static at 57mt, led by as always by Netherlands, UK and Germany.



Figure 5: EU + EFTA Trend in Production in Billions of Total Tonnes


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Overall a 3.9% growth on 2016 is predicted indicating an EU28+EFTA total tonnage of just on 2.83bnt in 2017. If European economic growth can be maintained, the EU+EFTA total aggregates production could reach the milestone of 3bnt by 2019, but this would be still much below the pre-crisis 3.7bnt of 2006.