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Economics

What are the regional aggregate supply issues?

Introduction
Whilst Britain is self-sufficient in aggregates, and indeed is a small exporter there are significant regional imbalances in supply, which require large inter-UK and inter-regional movement of aggregates. In 2001, total consumption of primary aggregates in England was 182 million tonnes, compared with total sales of 173 million tonnes. The deficit was made up by imports from Wales, Scotland and Europe. Regional imbalances are greatest in the south-east and London, where consumption was 44 million tonnes but land-won sales were only 13 million tonnes.

The shortfall was balanced by landings of marine-dredged sand and gravel (10.9 million tonnes), crushed rock imports from the south west (7.2 million tonnest) and the East Midlands (3.3 million tonnes), and seaborne landings of crushed rock, notably from Scotland and Europe (3.8 million tonnes).
  Inter-regional flows of crushed rock, 2001.

Inter-regional flows of crushed rock, 2001
(click to enlarge).

 

Land-won

Marine

Total sand & gravel

Crushed rock

Total primary aggregates

Region

Thousand tonnes

North East

807

447

1254

6081

7 335

North West

4968

252

5812

8887

14 699

Yorks & the Humber

4604

166

4770

10 652

15 422

East Midlands

9842

0

9842

28 443

38 285

West Midlands

9590

0

9590

5538

15 128

East of England

12 670

1711

14 381

<150e

14 531

South East

9361

5486

14 847

1 000e

15 847

London

768

2300

3068

0

3068

South West

5875

538

6413

22 998

29 411

England

58 484

10 901

68 091

83 957

153 342

Wales

1503

1 230

2733

16 837

19 570

Scotland

8103

0

8103

22 092

30 195

Great Britain

68 090

12 131

80 221

122 885

203 106

Northern Ireland

4894

0

4894

17 532

22 426

UNITED KINGDOM

72 984

12 131

85 115

140 418

225 532

Table 1. UK: Sales of primary aggregates by English region and country, 2003

Sources: AMRI, ONS for Great Britain.
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Northern Ireland.
(The figures for crushed rock in Northern Ireland are somewhat overstated because sales for
non -aggregates use are not separately disclosed).

. . . more