Continuous Decline for Five Years: Japan's Domestic Cement Demand in 2023

In 2023, Japan's domestic cement sales decreased compared to the previous year, marking a five-year continuous decline, with total domestic demand including imports also dropping.

Continuous Decline for Five Years: Japan's Domestic Cement Demand in 2023
Photo by Jezael Melgoza / Unsplash

According to a summary by the Cement Association of Japan, domestic sales of cement in 2023 fell by 5.6% compared to the previous year, totaling 35.375 million tons. This marks the fifth consecutive year of decline, bringing the domestic demand for cement, including imports, to a decrease of 5.6%, amounting to 35.39 million tons. This level of demand has not been seen since 1966.

The significant factors contributing to this substantial decrease, as identified by the association, include a shortage of skilled labor and the rising costs of labor and materials. The sales figures by region in 2023 show a decline across all areas, with notable decreases in regions such as Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, and Kyushu.

Cement exports also saw a decrease for the second consecutive year, dropping by 32.3% to 6.478 million tons. This decline is attributed to increased manufacturing costs, including coal prices. The total sales of cement, both domestic and exports, decreased by 11.1% to 41.853 million tons, marking the sixth consecutive year of decline.

Cement production also followed this downward trend, decreasing by 10.4% to 47.656 million tons, the sixth consecutive year of decline. In December alone, domestic sales of cement decreased by 7.1% compared to the same month in the previous year, continuing a 16-month streak of decline. As of January 20th, daily sales were down by 11.8% compared to the previous year.

This report highlights the challenges faced by Japan's cement industry, including labor shortages and rising costs, impacting both domestic sales and exports.

Source: Kentsu Shimbunsha