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Taking Europe as the EU-28 plus the EFTA countries, the total 2015 aggregates production is estimated just on 2.66 billion tonnes, supplied by over 15,000 producers (mainly SMEs) from 26,000 quarries and pits, employing over 200,000 people directly and indirectly. The total direct value of this production is estimated to be in excess of €15 billion.


Figure 1: 2015 National Production by Country (mt)


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Figure 1 summarises the 2015 estimated national production tonnages by country and by type of aggregates.

Germany produced more than 500 million tonnes (mt), followed by Russia, Turkey, France, UK and Poland. At the other end of the scale were the smallest countries, namely Malta, Montenegro, Iceland, Luxembourg and Cyprus, with less than 5mt each. Taking the EU28 plus EFTA countries, 47% of all production was as crushed stone; the sand & gravel component  was 41% in 2015, one more percentage that in 2014. In parallel, aggregates production from recycled and re-used materials was 8% of all production. The remaining 4% remained almost evenly split between marine and manufactured aggregates. Total secondary materials (as recycled plus re-used plus manufactured aggregates) comprised 10% of total production with a slight decline of 1% between 2014 and 2015.


Figure 2: 2015 National Production in Tonnes per Capita

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Figure 2 demonstrates the national estimated productions of aggregates in tonnes per capita.

It was again led by Norway and Finland with at or over 15  tonnes/capita, while recession still hit Greece and Spain was the lowest with an unsustainable 2 tonnes/capita. As before, national tonnages were noted to depend not only on economic strength, but also on geological availability of and access to deposits, national ambient climate, ruggedness of the terrain and local building traditions. The average 2015 production across the EU28 plus EFTA countries was 5.1 tonnes/capita, a 30% decline compared to 7.2 tonnes/capita in 2007.


Figure 3: 2015 GDP/Capita versus Tonnes/Capita

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Figure 3 compares the 2015 estimated data for national tonnes/capita to its GDP/capita.

Each point on the graph represents individual countries, and the green line shows the overall trend. This graph demonstrates that the growing need for aggregates in tonnes/capita grows as an economy grows, which is hopefully good news for the aggregates industry, once the current prolonged and deep recession is ended.


Figure 4: Predicted Changes in Tonnages 2016 v 2015

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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.


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


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Figure 5 after 7 years of decline from 2007 to 2013, 2015 again saw a slight increase.

Provisional production for 2016 is estimated as 2.70bnt versus 2.61bnt in 2013, indicating an increase of about 1% a year since 2013.