According to a report by Cleveland-based Freedonia Group, demand for asphalt products is forecast to jump 1.2% annually to 38.8 million tons in 2009, valued at more than $12 billion. Gains will derive from expanding demand for asphalt paving products, which will benefit from new highway and road spending. These gains will be driven by increased federal and state spending on highway and road construction, particularly in view of the passage of SAFETEA-LU, federal legislation that authorizes spending through 2009.
Similarly, cement demand is projected to increase over the next several years. According to the Portland Cement Association, cement consumption enjoyed a record year in 2004, will reach even higher in 2005, and is expected to jump another 3.3% in 2006. In addition, demand for concrete construction has strained the tight domestic supply, driving cement imports. Sharply affecting the statistics is reconstruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; preliminary damage estimates stand at $ 125 billion, much of that going toward reconstruction of ruined property and infrastructure.