Ex-works gray cement prices are expected to range from an increase of over 9 percent in Western Europe to a decrease of 6 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa in the first quarter of 2021, on a yearly basis, according to the 1Q2021 update of CW Research’s Global Cement Trade Price Report.
In Western Europe, ex-works prices also increased almost 2 percent compared to the previous quarter. The rise was mostly driven by strong prices in France and the UK, as their construction sectors witness a recovery from the lows caused by the pandemic. Uncertainty, however, remains reigning as a new Covid-19 wave could cause further disruptions.
In Nigeria, the suspension of activities during the national lockdown in the first quarter of 2021 was the main driver for the decline in ex-works prices, leading to the estimated 6 percent drop in the Sub-Saharan Africa region’s ex-works prices.
“Domestic cement prices have strengthened quarter-on-quarter across almost all regions in the first quarter of 2021, as government spending and stimulus measures have provided a boost to the construction sector. The only exception was the Asia-Pacific-Japan region, where Covid-19 continued to impact markets, with Indonesia being the most affected in terms of prices, down by 14 percent in the quarter,” assesses Prashant Singh, Associate Director at CW Group.
Ex-works prices in the U.S. to rise on the back of an increased demand
Ex-works prices in the U.S. market are set to increase over 1 percent for the second quarter of 2021, as the construction sector shows resilience after President Biden’s bill to support the sector was approved.
In the first quarter of 2021, North and Central American cement ex-works prices are forecast to increase by almost 1 percent on a quarterly basis. Prices are estimated to decrease in three of the four sampled markets, with only the United States expected to have an increase on a quarterly basis.
Indian ex-work prices to drive South Asia’s cement prices up
South Asia is expected to record a robust increase of almost 4 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of 2021. In India, cement prices have been witnessing an upward pressure as a consequence of higher input costs.
Pakistan and India are expected to be the top performers in 1Q2021, with Pakistan’s prices rising around 18 percent year-on-year and South India up by 12 percent, both due to a growth in production cost. For the second quarter of 2021, both countries are set to see an increase in prices.
Spain to lead ex-works price decline in the Med Basin in 2Q 2021
In the Mediterranean Basin, prices are also likely to grow slightly by less than 1 percent quarter-on-quarter and almost 2 percent year-on-year, with Italy set to have a rise in prices by over 10 percent in the quarter year-on-year, as the industry confidence index showed growth in first months of the year.
In the second quarter of 2021, CW Research expects the largest decrease in ex-works prices in the Mediterranean Basin to occur in Spain, at over 1 percent.
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.