European brick and ceramic makers shutting plants, blaming the rising energy cost | SURFACES REPORTER Material News Update

Many ceramic tile and brick makers in several European countries have closed down the factories amidst the rising cost of gas which will lead to a major crisis in the construction industry according to the industry experts. A report by SURFACES REPORTER.

Crisis in the European Market

The rising energy prices and ‘chaotic’ European policies are causing the gas price to reach never-before-seen levels. Heimo Scheuch, Chief Executive, Wienerberger, Austria, one of world’s largest brick makers says during an interview that many of the company’s rivals had been forced to shut plants.

“They have literally closed down operations over the winter months, which leads to an undersupply,” he said. “We need to be careful, otherwise we will have increasing demand that we cannot satisfy from one day to the other. It’s new terrain for us.”

He mentioned that while the two brick plants of the company situated in Russia have not been affected so far, the war has already pushed the gas prices in Europe to nine times what they were a year ago.

He added that EU policies on cutting carbon emissions and labour lacked cohesion, leading to the shortages.

In addition, one of the largest ceramic tile company of Spain, Grespania, has already reduced its annual ceramic tile production by 15% since last November and plans to make a similar cut in the second quarter of this year, should gas prices stay high.

Luis Hernandez, Chief Executive, Grespania said the EU goal to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 would result in the “destruction of Spain, Italy and Poland’s ceramics industries” as ever more expensive gas and carbon prices drained money needed to decarbonise kilns.

Rising Gas Prices- a global concern

Rising fuel prices is one of the major concerns across the globe right now which is pushing the cost of raw materials across all sectors. The construction and real estate industry is one of the worst hit as they are the shortage of raw material is skyrocketing the prices. Not long back SURFACES REPORTER has posted an exclusive story where many ceramic tile makers in Morbi were shutting down their plants due to the rising gas prices. The same situation is now being felt globally as industry experts pointing out the worsening situation where the Russia- Ukraine War is acting as a catalyst. The market, despite getting good growth, is volatile and currently, govt needs to take some strict steps in order to rein the situation.

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