Displaying items by tag: Production
Venezuela: The Corporacion Socialista del Cemento expects to produce 6Mt of cement in 2017 to meet national demand. Marco Tulio Diaz, president of the construction federation Federación Bolivariana de la Construcción, said that distribution channels are to be reinforced, according to the El Universal newspaper. He added the country expects to export 0.3Mt of cement in 2017. In 2016 about 55% of cement production despatched to the popular housing program Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela and 45% was reserved for the private sector.
Iran: Data from the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade of Iran reports that the country’s cement production fell by 1.4% year-on-year to 42.7Mt in the first nine months of the Iranian calendar year that started on 31 March 2016. Cement production has fluctuated in recent years due to weak domestic demand, according to the Trend News Agency. Other issues the cement industry has experienced have included a recession in the local construction industry, low supplies of natural gas, low international oil prices and declining exports.
Tajikistan: Tajikistan increased its cement production to 2Mt in 2016, an increase of 0.5Mt from 2015, according to the Minister of Industry and New Technologies. This is due to new cement plants opening in Vahdat, Bobojonghafourov and Yovon, according to the Asia-Plus news agency. The country now intends to export its excess to neighbouring countries. In 2016, Tajikistan exported cement to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Small volumes of cement were also exported to Russia.
Lithuania: Mandatory cement certification in Russia has forced Akmenės Cementas and other cement producers based in the European Union (EU) to send their exports elsewhere. The Lithuanian cement producer has compensated for this by moving its sales in other markets, according to the Verslo Zinios newspaper. Akmenes Cementas’s sales fell by 8% year-on-year to Euro51m in 2016 from Euro55.4m in 2015.
Around 60% of its sales revenue came from local sales in Lithuania, 20% from sales in other Baltic countries and Belarus and 20% from Scandinavian countries. Previously, exports to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad accounted for 30% of the company’s revenue. The company expects to generate sales of Euro54m in 2017 based on existing contracts.
Uzbekistan: Ahangarancement JSC has increased its cement production by 5.2% year-on-year to 1.86Mt in 2016 from 1.78Mt in 2015. Clinker production grew by 4.9% to 1.34Mt from 1.28Mt, according to the Trend News Agency. In total, the Eurocement-owned cement producer’s sales of cement rose by 4.8% to 1.86Mt. Cement and clinker production rose by 4.1% and 3.4% respectively in 2015.
Russia: Sibirsky Cement expects that demand for cement in Siberia will fall by 8 – 10% to 4.7 - 4.8Mt in 2017. The cement producer said that its output decreased by 22% to 2.15Mt from its Kemerovo Region-based Topkinsky Cement, by 3% to 0.75Mt from its Krasnoyarsky Cement plant and by 10% to 0.27Mt from its Timlyuisky cement plant, according to the Prime Tass news agency. Overall its cement production fell by 17% year-on-year to 3.17Mt in 2016. It has blamed falling production on an overall decline in Russia’s cement market.
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.