UK aggregates industry continues to struggle in replenishing reserves

The UK aggregates industry continues to be unable to replenish its output with new reserves. This is despite markets continuing to remain at historically low levels during 2010. The industry marketing consultancy, BDS Marketing Research Ltd, estimates that aggregates companies obtained consents to extract just 125 million tonnes of new reserves in 2010. This compares with actual production of around 150 million tonnes during the year.

Over the past 15 years, BDS believes that only in 2006 has the quarrying industry more than replenished the reserves taken out during the year. In one other year, new consents granted were similar to production. However, in the other 13 years, the consultancy estimates that consented reserves failed to match production.

An analysis of planning consents for last year shows significant differences between regions. Few consents for additional reserves were granted in the Midlands, East Anglia, Northern England and Wales. Together, these regions replenished just three months' production. This repeats the difficulties experienced in these regions during the previous year. In 2009, these regions replenished only six months' production.

The situation was better in Yorkshire and the South East, where the level of new permissions granted was similar to production. Only in Scotland and the South West did the level of new reserves exceed production. In Scotland, major consents granted to Tarmac and the Skene Group helped the industry. In the South West, major permissions were given to Cemex and Tarmac.

Both sand and gravel producers and suppliers of crushed rock were equally affected. Both sectors were unable to replenish reserves in 2010.

This analysis has been prepared by BDS Marketing Research Ltd which has monitored planning applications and consents for new minerals since the consultancy first started in 1989. A monthly BDS report lists planning applications and consents for all new minerals including aggregates, coal and other minerals, and asphalt plants. This is available on an annual subscription. The company also maintains a database of all pits and quarries. This includes details of planning decisions, together with estimates of the outputs and reserves for each pit and quarry in the country.

BDS Marketing Research publishes a number of reports on the aggregates, asphalt, ready mixed concrete, concrete products, cement and waste industries. The consultancy also completes over 50 surveys each year that have been commissioned by individual clients. These can relate to new product development, assessing market size, customer research and acquisition appraisals.

BDS Marketing & Research Ltd
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Single Hill

T: 01761 433035
F: 01761 434579

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