In the second quarter of 2020, gray cement ex-works prices showed a declining trend due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economy and trade, according to the 2Q2020 update of the Global Cement Trade Price Report.
“With the singular exception of North America, ex-works prices for gray cement all showed quarter-on-quarter decline. When loooking at the outlook of the third quarter, we expect ex-works prices in South Asia and Eastern Europe & CIS to witness a small recovery whereas in North America prices will continue to strengthen.”, observes Juliana Vieira, Business Analyst at CW Group.
India's cement prices see small boost from rural demand
India's cement ex-works prices declined on a yearly basis during this quarter settling in slightly above the USD 70 mark as the country emerges from a stringent lockdown. Prices in second quarter increased from the weak prices from Q1 2020, as rural demand helped offset declining sales in urban areas .
The supplies remain tight as several companies halted production during the quarantine. This also helped boost prices when compared to the first quarter. However, many cement companies have since ramped up their low utilization rates as construction activities have resumed across the country having been decreed as an essential service .
Globally ex-works prices sharply decline year-on-year
Thailand, the third largest exporter of gray cement globally, witnessed a 0.2 percent decline in the 1Q and 2Q and this is expected to replicate again in the third quarter. While, in the United States, the leading import market globally, is expected to continuing witness strengthening of prices in the third quarter of the year, following the quarter on quarter trend in 2Q.
Due to the slowdown in the construction actvities, in the second quarter of the year, Brazil is expected to see a decline of more than 10 percent when compared to the same quarter last year. While, for the third quarter we expect to witness a smaller decline of almost 4 percent.
In Europe, ex-works prices across major markets are down significantly year-on-year due to the strong impact of the pandemic on the construction industry. In Germany, we expect to see a decline of more than 5 percent in the third quarter of the year when compared to the previous year. In France, ex-works prices are likely to see a bigger decline of almost 7 percent in the same period.
The Global Cement Trade Price Report (GCTPR) is CW Research's benchmark price assessment for monthly gray cement, white cement, clinker and granulated blast furnace slag prices and volumes. The 150+ page report, published on a quarterly basis, serves as the industry go-to source for monthly price data for over 70 individual markets worldwide, including multiple cornerstone data series: import, export, ex-works and market prices.
Find out more about the report here.