ECTS Meeting in Barcelona
On October 19/20, 2017 took place in Barcelona the second regular ECTS meeting in 2017. The 34 participants discussed current topics of the heavy clay industry and analyzed different markets. On the first day, the whole group enjoyed the company visits at the premises of Verdés and Beralmar.
Most of the companies state that business in 2017 is doing well and that even 2018 is quite sure to be a good year since production is already fully booked until mid-2018. A big question mark is pending over 2019. By now only little plant projects or new lines are on the horizon. Currently business is mainly run by spare parts and services to older plants.
In terms of geography no strong region or country can be highlighted. Europe in general is doing well while Saudi Arabia is declining strongly. Some comments and the recently held symposia in Peru and Colombia let appear Latin America as a possible market for ECTS.
Furthermore, the group debated where to hold a technology symposium in 2018. At the end, a majority opted for having another event in Latin America. After a survey in the days after the meeting, Mexico turned out to be the most voted venue.
Finally, Elena Gracia from the Spanish Brick Maker Association HISPALYT gave an overview about the Spanish brick and construction industry. After the construction bubble in 2007 and 2008 and a sharp declining of the construction activities in the following years, now the market and the demand for construction materials are recovering slowly. Ms. Gracia stated that, besides the general construction market conditions, Spanish brick makers had to face the tough competition of alternative construction materials, such as concrete or gypsum products.