According to CW Research’s Cement and Clinker Price Assessments for Mediterranean Basin and Persian Gulf, FOB prices for both commodities displayed a slight improvement in the first month of the year.
In January 2019, in the Mediterranean Basin region, trade prices for both prompt deliveries of bulk ordinary Portland cement and of clinker recorded a slim increase when compared to December, with cement dispatches reaching between USD 39 and USD 41 per ton.
"In the beginning of 2019, cement export prices in the region are slightly increasing as major market players try to cover hikes in production costs. Currency depreciation is also bringing some pressure to cement prices”, notes Ana Almeida, CW Group’s Analyst.
In Spain, cement demand recorded a double-digit growth rate between November 2017 and October last year, having topped 13 million tons. Despite 19 consecutive months of positive movements in cement consumption, Spanish cement sales and exports remain well below those recorded before the crisis.
Pakistani producers struggle with unfair competition
In January, in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea region, trade prices for prompt deliveries of bulk ordinary grade clinker edged up. Even though FOB prices for cement dispatches remained flat in January, reaching between USD 34 and USD 36 per ton, a slow and shy recovery is taking place.
"Cement prices are slightly recovering in the beginning of the year for exporters in the region, with inflation and higher production costs underpinning the upward trend”, observes Almeida.
In Pakistan, cement producers are complaining about cement imports. Local players argue that incoming products are below standards and cheaper, which creates a situation of unfair competition, since Pakistani manufacturers are subject to strict regulations. As such, cement producers demand a tighter border control and ask the government to relax its excise duty on the sector.
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