UK aggregates industry continues its struggle to replenish reserves
- 25 February 2012
- Company & Industry News
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 2011. The industry marketing consultancy, BDS Marketing Research Ltd, estimates that last year, sand and gravel companies obtained consents which only replaced 70% of production during the year.
The picture was better in crushed rock. Two major consents – one in the east midlands and the other in Scotland – meant that producers more than replaced extraction during 2011. However, these two consents hide a generally deteriorating situation. If these two consents are excluded, crushed rock companies replaced less than 40% of the production extracted last year.
In the industry as a whole, BDS has identified only four consents granted during 2011 for proposals that involved more than 10 million tonnes of reserves.
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. The Midlands and Scotland replenished their production during 2011. However, the position was bleak in all other regions. In southern and northern England, and Wales, new reserves consented represented just 4 months production, even at the depressed 2011 levels.
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.