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.
In East Africa CFR prices for bagged cement slightly also decreased by less than one percent. In Ethiopia, Messebo Cement announced that it has resumed production in the Tigray region, following a 4-month suspension of operations.
“Despite a robust upward trend in domestic cement sales in Saudi Arabia, exports weakened in April. In the Med Basin, Spain is expected to continue seeing year-on-year sales growth building on a strong first quarter performance especially as the country emerges from Covid-19 related restrictions,” observes Wanderson Teixeira, Junior Business Analyst at CW Group.
Saudi Arabia’s cement sales continue to witness growth in March
Domestic cement sales in Saudi Arabia continued on their upward trajectory in March, increasing by more than 4 percent year-on-year, according to data by Yamama Cement Company while exports slightly declined by less than one percent compared to the same month of last year.
Meanwhile, in Iran, the governor of Iran's Bushehr province, Karim Ground, announced that in March that cement factories may export only with the permission of the development area, in order to fight a cement shortage in the region.
Cement consumption drops in Spain and Portugal
In Spain, cement consumption declined by more than 2 percent in February, compared to the same month in 2020. Meanwhile in Portugal, in January, cement sales decreased by almost 3 percent year-on-year.
In Egypt, cement sales rose 15 percent year-on-year in March, including exports. Meanwhile, the value of cement exports from Turkey increased by over 2 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2021.
Shipping market outlook
In terms of shipping at a global level, the Baltic Dry Index reached 2,140 points, up by 170 points versus the level on March 11, boosted by the Capesize market.
In April, the German dry bulk owner Oldendorff Carriers ordered two 61,300 dwt ultramax newbuilds and two secondhand 93,000 dwt post-panamaxes. The ultramaxes will be delivered from Dalian Cosco Kawasaki Ship Engineering Co (DACKS) in July 2022.
The Cement and Clinker Price Assessments for Med Basin and Persian Gulf are part of CW Research's price assessment series for tradable commodities. The report offers prompt cargo (next 30-60 days deliveries) pricing insights, regular monitoring of the market and an overview of key developments that are crucial for those involved in the cement, clinker and petcoke trade to understand. The monthly price assessments synthesize key market information based on CW Research analysts' ongoing interactions with market participants, including traders, exporters, buyers and other stakeholders involved in the cement, clinker and petcoke trade.
Find out more about the report here.