Each year, Aggregates Europe – UEPG collates best available aggregates production data from all over Europe.

While Aggregates Europe – UEPG data quality improves year-on-year, it is still based for some smaller countries on best estimates; overall it is believed to be the most authoritative data available for the aggregates industry.

Current trends for the European aggregates sector.

The key data for 2019 for these 42 countries is presented in the following Table, where the corresponding production was 4.20 billion tonnes (bnt), compared to 4.35bnt in 2018, a decline of 3.6%.This 2019 total equates to some 9.3% of the global aggregates production of 45bnt, while Asia (including China and India) in contrast comprises almost 70%.

The table also show that the 2019 production for the EU27 plus UK plus the EFTA (hereafter EU27+UK+EFTA) countries was 2.99bnt, a slight decline of 2.7% from the 2018 total of 3.07bnt. This decline was a little disappointing in view of the steady recovery that had taken place in the six years since 2013, revealing that European economic growth had faltered somewhat even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020.

National Production by Country 2019 (mt)

Figure 1 summarises the 2019 national production tonnages by country and by type of aggregates for all 42 countries. In 2019, Russia was the largest, producing 723 million tonnes (mt), with Germany at 580mt and France at 399mt, followed by Poland and UK, both on 272mt, and Turkey at 220mt. At the other end of the scale were the small countries, namely North Macedonia, Luxembourg, Iceland, Montenegro and Malta, each with a production of less than 5mt.

National Production in Tonnes per Capita, 2019

Figure 2 shows the national 2019 production data expressed in tonnes/capita (t/c) across Europe, which includes exports (mainly from Norway) but excludes imports. This data varies by national ambient climate, terrain, state of economy and building tradition, being highest in Norway at 23 t/c, followed by Finland and Estonia at 13.9 t/c and 13.4 t/c respectively. At the other end of the scale were Italy, Turkey, North Macedonia, Ukraine and Moldova, all with less than 3 t/c. The 2019 average for the EU27+UK+EFTA countries was 5.6 t/c. This contrasts the record of 7.2 t/c enjoyed before the financial crisis of 2006, the biggest ensuing declines being in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

GDP/Capita versus Tonnes/Capita, 2019

Figure 3 presents the interesting relationship between economic development, 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 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 European economic growth continues, so will aggregates demand. As a corollary, aggregates are indeed necessary for economic growth.