Amid the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on global markets, gray cement FOB prices, in the second quarter of 2020, declined on a year-on-year basis, but are forecasted to increase by 2.7 percent on a quarter-on-quarter basis, according to the 3Q2020 update of CW Research’s Global Cement Trade Price Report.
“While demand remained muted due to the pandemic between the middle of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter of 2020, prices have defied the expected trend and have for the most part remained resilient. In fact, in India, despite the large drop in volumes in the second quarter FOB prices declined by almost 2 percent q-o-q, and are forecasted to increase to around an estimated USD 52 by the end of the third quarter”, commented Juliana Vieira, Business Analyst at CW Group.
Export volumes remain depressed year-on-year
Gray cement exports volumes in the second quarter of 2020 recorded a decrease of 1.2 percent quarter-on-quarter. The economic effects of the pandemic, however, have contributed to volumes remaining depressed on a year-on-year basis. Global cement export volumes decreased more than 8 percent in the quarter, compared with the same quarter the previous year.
In the second quarter, the Mediterranean Basin and Asia-Pacific-Japan remained the largest exporters, with almost 6 million tons and 5 million tons traded, respectively. Along with Turkey, Vietnam, Germany and Thailand were the top exporters of gray cement in the world in the second quarter of 2020.
FOB cement prices to increase globally
Cement prices are estimated to record a quarterly increase across the globe in the third quarter of 2020, but still remain lower on a y-o-y basis. The two main gray cement exporting regions, Mediterranean Basin and Asia-Pacific-Japan registered divergent trends. Average price of gray cement for Asia-Pacific Japan is estimated to increase from the previous quarter, while the export average price in the Mediterranean Basin is estimated to decline in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the preceding quarter.
CW Research’s data set of 49 countries for the third quarter of 2020, revealed that Turkey, which remained the largest cement exporter of the world in the aforementioned period, witnessed a quarter-on-quarter decrease of almost 2 percent in average cement prices, to reach around USD 37 per ton.
Changing dynamics between major players of cement exports market
During the second quarter of 2020, the Mediterranean Basin region surpassed Asia-Pacific-Japan in terms of cement export volumes. Although the Med Basis registered a quarter-on-quarter decrease, Asia-Pacific-Japan clocked a drop in export volumes, mainly due to depressed export volumes from Vietnam in the quarter. Recovery in Vietnam’s volumes are estimated for Q3 as demand from China, the major export destination for Vietnamese cement is entering its growth season post the monsoon..
The Global Cement Trade Price Report 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.