Demand for brick and block products is projected to increase nearly 12% annually from a weak 2009 base to 12.4 billion units in 2014, valued at $8 billion. The expected recovery in building construction, specifically residential construction, will drive growth, according to “Brick & Block,” a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc.
Consumption of clay brick products tends to be concentrated in residential markets, reflecting the heavy use of clay brick as a siding material in new home construction. In 2009, demand for clay brick was very low (less than one-half the 2004 level) due to the ongoing severe contraction in new housing construction. As residential construction (particularly new single-family housing) rebounds through 2014, demand for clay brick will benefit, advancing 15% annually to 8.2 billion units in 2014, a considerable improvement over the weak performance of 2009 but still below the record level of 2004.
Demand for concrete brick and block products is projected to increase 6.9% annually to 4.3 billion units in 2014. Although the majority of demand will remain concentrated in nonresidential markets, the most significant growth opportunities will derive from the recovery in the housing market. This will benefit concrete brick (used in siding, paving and landscaping applications) and concrete pavers. Much slower gains will occur in structural and decorative concrete block products, which are more heavily reliant on nonresidential construction.
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