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CW Research News

World cement consumption is expected to rise by 2 percent in 2021, following a better-than-expected performance in the extremely challenging macroeconomic environment of 2020, according to CW Research's 1H2021 update of the Global Cement Volume Forecast Report (GCVFR).

Despite a recovery in sales in several markets, FOB prices for Portland cement continued to decrease in April in both the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea and in the Mediterranean Basin, down by about 1 percent and almost 2 percent month-on-month, respectively. Furthermore, clinker export prices also declined by about 1 percent in both regions according to the CW Research's Cement and Clinker Price Assessment for Med Basin and Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea & East Africa.

At a global level, Eastern Europe and CIS region is expected to emerge as the largest exporter of white cement in 2021, displacing Western Europe, according to the 2021 update of CW Research’s 's Global White Cement Market and Trade Report.

Oil well cement (OWC) consumption is expected to increase in 2021, yet reaching less half of the peak consumption levels recorded in 2014, according to CW Research's World Oil Well Cement Market Forecast 2026.

In spite of the challenges the global economy has been facing over the past five years, heightened by Covid-19, the global white cement market managed to come out relatively unscathed, with demand slightly increasing between 2016 and 2021, according to the 2021 update of CW Research's Global White Cement Market and Trade Report.

FOB prices for Portland cement decreased in March 2021 both in the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea and in the Mediterranean Basin, down by almost 1 percent month-on-month, while East African CFR prices for bagged cement slightly increased, according to CW Research's Cement and Clinker Price Assessment for Med Basin and Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea & East Africa.

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 the Sub-Saharan Africa in the first quarter of 2021, on a yearly basis, according to the 1Q2021 update of CW Research’sGlobal Cement Trade Price Report.

Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are expected to add about 18 million tons of cement production capacity in the next five years, even amidst an excess capacity scenario

In February 2021, Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea FOB prices for Portland cement increased over 1 percent month-on-month, while clinker export prices rose almost 2 percent, according to the CW Research's Cement and Clinker Price Assessment for Med Basin and Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea & East Africa.

CW export price index for gray cement is expected to continue to strengthen in the first quarter of 2021, increasing by over 5 percent year-on-year and almost 1 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to the 1Q2021 update of CW Research’s Global Cement Trade Price Report.

Robust growth on Iraq’s construction sector, positively influenced by the country’s reconstruction and rehabilitation program, with a total investment exceeding USD 94 billion over the coming decade, is expected to continue to drive cement demand in the country, according to the 2021 update of the Iraq Cement Market & Forecast Report.

Average export prices for cement and clinker continued their upward trajectory in the Mediterranean Basin while declining in the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea and East Africa in January 2021, according to CW Research's Cement and Clinker Price Assessment for Med Basin and Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea & East Africa.

Guatemala’s cement demand is estimated to grow by 1 million tons between 2021E and 2026F, boosted by an increase in infrastructure investment in the country, according to CW Research’s 2021 update of the Guatemala Cement Market & Forecast Report.

Despite an expected decline in China’s crude steel production, sustained growth in other Asian countries is expected to drive global crude production to an estimated 1.9 billion tons by 2025F, according to CW Research’s 2020 update of the 2020 update of the Global Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag Market Report and Forecast.

FOB prices for cement and clinker showed mixed trends, continuing to increase in the Mediterranean Basin while declining in the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea and East Africa in December, according to CW Research's Cement and Clinker Price Assessment for Med Basin and Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea & East Africa.

The cement carriers services market size is expected to witness a growth at a CAGR of more than 3 percent between 2021E and 2026F, according to CW Research's 2021 update of the World Cement Carrier Services and Market Forecast Report.

Global demand for ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) is expected to remain dominated by China by 2025, but its market share is likely to decline sharply whereas other Asian countries – namely India and Japan - are forecast to drive growth, according to CW Research’s 2020 update of the Global Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag Market Report and Forecast.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, on a yearly basis, cement ex-works prices are estimated to range from a decrease of more than 6 percent in Eastern Europe and CIS to an increase of almost 7 percent in South America, according to the 4Q2020 update of CW Research’s Global Cement Trade Price Report.

Between 2020 and 2025, the total volume of sea-based traded cementitious materials is forecast to grow at an estimated CAGR of two percent, according to CW Research’s 2020 update of the World Cement, Clinker & Slag Sea-Based Trade Report.

Clinker seaborne trade is expected to witness a higher increase than all other cementitious products, due to not only increased demand from China but also other regions, including Western Europe, where stricter emission regulations encourage clinker imports as oppose to clinker production.

“While prospects over the short term have been negatively revised due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our expectations for trade of cementitious materials over the next five years is positive, as we estimate a rebound in global trade from the sharp recession expected in 2020,” notes Carolina Pereira, Manager, Advisory & Research at CW Group.

Gray cement continues to account for the highest percentage of seaborne trade

Compared to 2018, the global trade of cementitious materials rose nearly 5 percent in 2019. Gray cement once again accounted for the majority of traded cementitious materials. For 2020, CW Research estimates a decline of nine percent in seaborne trade of cementitious materials, due to the fallout from the pandemic.

Clinker, together with gray cement, accounted for 84 percent of seaborne trade in 2019. Clinker was followed by ground blast furnace slag, white cement and fly ash, accounting for the remaining 16 percent.

The largest volume of cementitious materials is traded in South-East Asia and in Asia Pacific, where the total cargo moved in 2019 accounted for more than 40 percent of the total volume. Cementitious trade in Asia is driven by the presence of large-scale manufactures of cement and clinker, such as Vietnam, and the presence of big importers within the region, including Bangladesh and China.

Furthermore, regional supply and demand scene for slag is similar to that, for cement and clinker, with the presence of major exporters, including Japan, and major importers, such as Bangladesh and Taiwan.

Demand for cement carriers expected to grow in regional trade routes

There are currently an estimated 400 or so cement carriers used for seaborne distribution of cementitious materials. New vessels and conversions had been increasing, due to the growth of seaborne trade of cementitious materials in the past few years. Sustained demand for cementitious in Asia had contributed to the requirement for new ships, however, that is likely to be re-evaluated given the current circumstances as the world deals with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cement producers currently, own just under a third of cement carriers’ fleet, while additional 25 percent is held by independent owners.

Clinker and slag are expected to be the commodities showing the highest growth over the forecasted period. Asia Pacific and the Middle East are expected to be the most active regions in the trade of cementitious materials. Clinker is expected to supplant gray cement, which is currently the most traded seaborne commodity, by 2025.

CW Group's World Cement, Clinker & Slag Sea-based Trade Report provides an in-depth and data-oriented analysis of trade-related development, historical trade flows and prices, and changes in exports and imports during the past years from a regional perspective, with a focus on key markets. The report also projects key cement and clinker supply-demand gaps that will sustain world cement trading for the next few years. Key exporters, their facilities, and traders are profiled, as well as key ocean-going cement carrier operations and their vessels. Examined trade flows include gray cement, clinker, white cement, and slag, as well as a discussion of fly ash trade, in bag, big-bag, or bulk form. The report projects main flows through 2024 expected to be shipped by ocean going vessels and includes prevailing cement trade prices and bulk/dry cargo shipping rates.

Find out more about the report here

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