Displaying items by tag: Production
Brazil: The National Union of Cement Industry (SNIC) has said that 2017 may be the worst year on record for the local cement industry. Domestic sales of cement fell by 11.7% year-on-year to 57.2Mt in 2016. SNIC’s new president Paulo Camillo Penna described the situation as the worst in the industry’s history. He added that following capacity utilisation rates of 70% in 2015 and 57% in 2016 that he expects the rate to fall below 50% in 2017. SNIC forecasts that sales of cement will contract by 5 – 7% in 2017.
Saudi Arabia: Cement producers are planning to cut their production by 5 – 10% in 2017 due to a fall in demand. The decision follows declines in profits of around 17% by local companies in 2016, according to the Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper. The decrease in demand for cement has been blamed on competition, high production costs and high energy costs. Cement sales in the country started to decline in 2015 following the low international price of oil.
Paraguay: Industria Nacional del Cemento’s (INC) production rose by 8% year-on-year to 13.2 million bags of cement in 2016 from 12.3 million bags in 2015. It also reported an operating profit of US$1.5m, according to La Nación newspaper. Company president Jorge Mendez said that the state-run cement producer produces 55,000bag/day of cement at its plants at Villeta and Vallemi, holding about 55% of the domestic market.
INC is completing a US$3.9m dryer upgrade at its Villeta plant with local contractor Engineering. Changes to the fuel used at its Vallemi plant are also on-going to cut energy costs.
The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) struck a triumphant note this week as it announced that its industry has over 26Mt/yr of capacity upgrades in the pipeline. Its chairman Sayeed Saigol concluded in a press release that the country’s growth trend required ‘massive’ investment and that its producers were working on it.
Graph 1 – Local and export cement despatches in Pakistan, 2008 – 2016. Data source: APCMA.
Graph 1 shows how the local industry has changed since 2009. At this time exports hit a high of over 11Mt, constituting 34% of all cement despatches at the time. Since then though exports have fallen to below 6Mt or 14% of despatches, as local despatches have started to increase. Although local despatches have risen each year, the growth rate was below 1% in 2011. In 2016 it was over 14%.
Much has changed since 2010. At this time production capacity hit a high of 45Mt/yr in the 2009 – 2010 Pakistan financial year, according to APCMA data, but then utilisation sunk to below 73%, its lowest rate in over a decade. Pakistan’s cement producers sought a way out by exporting their cement. Export volumes subsequently exploded to a high of nearly 11Mt in 2008 – 2009 from next to nothing at the turn of the millennium.
The effects of this had particular repercussions in eastern and southern Africa as local producers suffered against seaborne imports. In 2012 the outgoing chief of South Africa’s PPC summarised the problem by saying that imports were not a threat to African expansion, provided that a cement plant was not built within 200km of a port. Rightly or wrongly cement from Pakistan was vilified by the African press and then legislated against. South Africa even implementing anti-dumping duties to howls of derision from Pakistan.
Funnily enough though the APCMA has recommended that Pakistan’s government do exactly the same thing against imports of cement from Iran. Industry scare stories about Iranian cement being sold illegally in Pakistan have circulated since at least 2012. Iran’s nuclear deal in 2015 must have worried the local industry, as the prize for Iran was the lifting of international sanctions making it easier for one of the world’s largest cement producers to start exporting its product. However, president-elect Trump’s disdain for the Iran deal may put those worries to rest if the deal is ‘cancelled’.
Back to the present, the Pakistan cement industry appears to be booming. One motor is the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor, a collection of infrastructure projects worth US$54bn. There is some disagreement at this point about how the usage levels of cement breakdown, with the chief executive of Thatta Cement placing it at 60% for infrastructure and 40% for housing but with other commentators placing it at 70% for housing and 30% for infrastructure. If the latter is true then Pakistan’s cement producers may receive an even bigger payday. The emphasis on housing shouldn’t be underestimated though as the country’s production capacity per capita, below 200kg/capita, is low by international standards. Either way, things are looking good for the local producers.
Belarus: The Belarusian government has reduced its national plan for the production, consumption and export of cement from 2017 to 2020. The national cement production target has been set at 4.5Mt in 2017, 4.7Mt in 2018, 4.9Mt in 2019 and 5.1Mt in 2010, according to local media. During this period it is anticipated that the country’s cement production capacity will fall to 5.9Mt/yr from 5.4Mt/yr. Exports of cement are forecast to reach 1.6Mt in 2017, 1.7Mt in 2018 and 2019 and 1.8Mt in 2020. Consumption of cement is planned to be 3.3Mt/yr in 2017, 3.4Mt in 2018, 3.5Mt in 2019 and 3.6mt in 2020. The country produces cement from three state-controlled integrated plants.
Senegal: The government of Senegal has introduced a tax of US$4.84/t of cement with effect from 2 January 2017. The tariff will apply to cement from the country’s three cement plants run by Ciments du Sahel, Sococim and Dangote, according to the Quotidien newspaper. Vendors are expected to pass the cost onto consumers with higher prices.
Cement production rose by 10% year-on-year to 5.15Mt in the first 10 months of 2016 from 4.68Mt in the same period in 2015 at the Ciments du Sahel and Sococim plants, according to data from the Directorate of Forecasting and Economic Studies (DPEE), reported upon by the African Press Agency. The increase has been attributed to a 25% surge in exports, although local sales have also risen slightly.
Puerto Rico: Cement production has fallen by 30% year-on-year to 756,000 bags in the first eleven months of 2016 from 1.08M bags in the same period in 2015. Cement sales fell by 13% in the same period, a faster rate of decline than 8.5% in 2015 and 9.8% in 2014, according to local press. The decline has been attributed to a lack of funding supporting infrastructure projects and a slowdown in the residential construction sector.
Russia: Sibirsky Cement’s production has fallen by 19% year-on-year to 3.1Mt/yr in 2016. It has blamed the fall on a reduction of market demand in the Siberian Federal District. Cement consumption in the region is expected to fall by 14% in 2016.
US: Clinker production has fallen slightly to 20.5Mt in the third quarter of 2016 from 20.6Mt in the same period of 2015 according to preliminary data released by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Portland and blended cement shipments fell by 3.7% to 26.4Mt from 27.4Mt. However, for the first nine months of the year both clinker production and cement shipments have risen. A full report for September 2016 will be published by the USGS in early December 2016.
Russia: Cement consumption has fallen by 10.9% year-on-year to 44.3Mt in the first nine months of 2016 from 49.8Mt in the same period in 2015. The biggest decreases occurred on the Central, Volga, Siberian and North-Western federal districts, according to data from the Russian Cement Association (CMPRO) and the Russian Construction journal. Cement production has fallen by 10.9% to 43.5Mt from 48.9Mt. The falls in consumption and production have been blamed on a poor construction market although the residential sector picked up slightly in the third quarter of 2016.