Ready-mixed concrete production stable but usage changes

Steady demand for concrete infrastructure is expected to help offset softer demand for concrete in residential construction through the rest of 2023, says Concrete NZ.

Rob Gaimster, Concrete NZ’s CEO says the sector is coming off record levels of production.

“We can see that demand for ready-mixed concrete over the 12-months reported has remained relatively stable, with the year ended March 2023 down marginally at 1.3 percent compared with the year ended March 2022.

“While demand for ready-mixed concrete in residential construction has slowed, there is still demand across large infrastructure and non-residential construction projects in Northland, Auckland, Tairāwhiti Gisborne, and Hawke’s Bay.

“We expect demand for concrete in this area to remain healthy due to rebuilds and a focus on durability and resilience following devastation caused by the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.”

Comparing the change in demand between the first quarter this year with last year in isolation can be misleading due to fluctuations in activity caused by pandemic-driven lockdowns and re-openings, Rob Gaimster says.

A sector highlight for the first half of 2023 is strong progress in green concrete capabilities by New Zealand suppliers, Rob Gaimster says.

Holcim New Zealand (Holcim) has opened a new low-carbon cement replacement facility at the Ports of Auckland, with carbon emission savings expected to reach more than 75,000 tonnes a year, roughly equivalent to 3,600 flights from Auckland to Christchurch, or removing 34,700 cars from the roads.

New Zealand’s largest concrete producer, Fletcher Building, has announced a contract to increase its use of waste ash from Huntly Power Station to produce lower carbon concrete. It also opened its new Concrete Innovation Laboratory in Christchurch, dedicated to finding more sustainable concrete solutions.

“Cyclone Gabrielle has underscored the need for the twin imperative of climate mitigation and adaptation.

“As Aotearoa New Zealand considers the resilience of its national built environment in the wake of a month of extreme weather events, greener concrete provides opportunities to build with materials that meet both imperatives.”


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