According to CW Research’s Cement and Clinker Price Assessments for Med Basin and Persian Gulf, FOB prices for cement and clinker have remained unchanged in July.
Over the month, in the Mediterranean Basin region, trade prices for prompt deliveries of bulk ordinary Portland cement and clinker recorded a negligible decline when compared to June.
Ana Almeida, CW Group’s analyst, observes: "In the Med Basin region, exporters have been having mixed sentiments towards the next months based on the last export figures. At the same time, North African countries persist on their competitiveness in the external market and on raising their international presence."
During the first quarter of 2018, Turkey registered a double-digit increase in its cement production, as well as in exports, which accounted for almost ten percent of the country’s total output. Sales figures also saw a double-digit improvement YoY. Behind this increase was the low-base effect caused by the harsh winter in the first months of last year.
Saudi Arabia accumulating inventory on low sales
In July, FOB prices for both bulk ordinary Portland cement and prompt deliveries of bulk ordinary grade clinker slipped less than one percent month on month in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea region.
As noted by Ana Almeida, analyst with CW Group’s European team: "In the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea region, Pakistan, one of the most important cement exporters, is optimistic in its forecasts for the coming months. The devaluation of its currency has proven to be one of the main drivers."
In Saudi Arabia, cement sales registered a decline of 16.7 percent year-on-year during April and May this year. Industry restructuring measures and holidays in the period were pointed as the factors behind the decline. Reflecting the depressed sales, producers in the country saw their level of inventory edge up quarter-on-quarter to around 36 million tons in May. As such, cement companies are expecting the second quarter of the year to register lower figures when compared to 2017, which is likely to have a negative effect on revenue.
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