The biggest fall in Chinese cement production in at least two decades has dragged global output of the construction material into decline, demonstrating how a crisis in the country’s vast property sector is hitting other industries that rely on it for growth.

According to data provided by the World Cement Association, global cement output fell 8 percent year on year to 1.9bn tonnes in the first six months of


The global drop was caused by a 15 percent fall to 977mn tonnes in the volume of cement produced in China, the WCA said. Ian Riley, WCA chief executive, said the Chinese decline was the biggest in more than 20 years, with no comparable decline in recent memory.

China’s property crisis, which began with missed bond payments at real estate developer Evergrande a year ago and has since spread across the indebted sector, is weighing heavily on economic activity.

The cement data are a sign of its mounting spillover effect on other industries that benefited from the previous construction boom. Official data show new construction starts in China have fallen more than 40 percent year on year every month since April.

‘[In recent years], we have seen a tremendous construction boom [in

China] . . . Cement companies thought they were about to start selling cement to these big infrastructure projects,” said Riley. But then a combination of the real estate crisis and China’s zero Covid policy “really started to impact business”.

Chinese construction starts have fallen more than 40% every month since April