Cement Exports by Country

Concrete tiles

Concrete tiles

Global sales from cement exports by country amounted to US$9.1 billion in 2016. An essential construction material, cement is typically sold in the form of grey or white powder or “clinker” lumps and modules fused together with limestone and alumino-silicates like clay.

By category, Portland cement accounted for 69.4% of exported global cement supplies. That metric should come as no surprise given that Portland is the cement type used for making concrete, mortar, stucco and grout. Cement clinkers represented 24% while miscellaneous hydraulic cements and aluminous cements came in at 4.3% and 2.3% respectively.

Overall, the value of cement exports were down by an average -20.2% for all exporting countries since 2012 when cement shipments were valued at $11.4 billion. Year over year, exported cement sales retreated by -12.6% from 2015 to 2016.

Among continents, Asian countries accounted for the highest dollar value worth of cement exports during 2016 with shipments amounting to $4.4 billion or 48.1% of global cement exports. In second place were European exporters at 34% while 7.5% of worldwide cement shipments originated from North America.

African exporters supplied 6.9% of total exports with 2.2% of international cement sales originating from Latin America (excluding Mexico) and Caribbean nations.

The four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for cement materials is 2523.

Cement Exports by Country

Countries

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of cement during 2016:

  1. China: US$692.4 million (7.6% of total cement exports)
  2. Thailand: $612.2 million (6.8%)
  3. United Arab Emirates: $544.4 million (6%)
  4. Turkey: $494.8 million (5.5%)
  5. Germany: $486.3 million (5.4%)
  6. Spain: $477.3 million (5.3%)
  7. Vietnam: $403 million (4.4%)
  8. Japan: $391.3 million (4.3%)
  9. Canada: $368.7 million (4.1%)
  10. India: $267 million (2.9%)
  11. Greece: $248.6 million (2.7%)
  12. Senegal: $209 million (2.3%)
  13. United States: $205.9 million (2.3%)
  14. Pakistan: $185.6 million (2%)
  15. South Korea: $162.9 million (1.8%)

The listed 15 countries shipped almost two-thirds (63.4%) of global exports in 2016 (by value).

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing cement exporters since 2012 were: India (up 61.5%), United Arab Emirates (up 53.3%), Canada (up 23.5%) and Greece (up 13%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported sales were led by: Pakistan (down -67.4%), South Korea (down -54%), Turkey (down -37.8%), Vietnam (down -27%) and Germany (down -24.5%).

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for cement during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s cement exports and its import purchases for that same commodity.

  1. China: US$677.5 million (net export surplus up 6% since 2012)
  2. Thailand: $605.5 million (down -6.9%)
  3. United Arab Emirates: $536.2 million (up 56.2%)
  4. Turkey: $478.3 million (down -38.9%)
  5. Spain: $437.7 million (down -14%)
  6. Vietnam: $369.3 million (down -29.1%)
  7. Japan: $353.9 million (up 23.8%)
  8. Germany: $305.5 million (down -32.9%)
  9. Greece: $240.3 million (up 18.6%)
  10. Canada: $220.1 million (up 102.5%)
  11. Senegal: $195.9 million (down -10.4%)
  12. Pakistan: $184 million (down -67.5%)
  13. India: $152.5 million (up 118%)
  14. Ireland: $143.3 million (up 45.3%)
  15. Croatia: $108 million (up 8%)

China has the highest surplus in the international trade of cement. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms China’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.

Opportunities

The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for cement during 2016. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s cement import purchases and its exports for that same commodity.

  1. United States: -US$836.8 billion (net export deficit up 135.5% since 2012)
  2. Sri Lanka: -$535.9 million (up 34.5%)
  3. Oman: -$345.9 million (up 146.6%)
  4. Philippines: -$334.1 million (up 627.9%)
  5. Bangladesh: -$262 million (down -57.4%)
  6. Singapore: -$240.1 million (down -27.9%)
  7. France: -$223 million (down -25%)
  8. Colombia: -$189.8 million (up 1131.6%)
  9. Kuwait: -$186 million (up 11.1%)
  10. Myanmar (Burma): -$185.8 million (up 5%)
  11. Israel: -$168.8 million (up 125.6%)
  12. Algeria: -$156.8 million (down -37.7%)
  13. Cambodia: -$155.5 million (up 96.3%)
  14. Australia: -$150.4 million (up 27.2%)
  15. Mali: -$146.2 million (down -17%)

United States incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of cement. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights America’s strong competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for cement-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.

Companies

Top Cement Exporting Companies

According to the Global Cement Directory 2013, the following cement exporting companies lead the world in cement production capacity:

  1. Anhui Conch (China)
  2. Lafarge (France)
  3. Holcim (Switzerland)
  4. CNBM (China)
  5. HeidelbergCement (Germany)
  6. Italcementi (Italy)
  7. Cemex (Mexico)
  8. Taiwan Cement Corp (Taiwan)
  9. China Resources (China)
  10. Sinoma (China)

The above corporations are presented in the same order as they appear in Global Cement’s listing, which shows that the People’s Republic is home to four of the 10 largest cement-producing companies.

See also Highest Value Chinese Export Products, Highest Value Thai Export Products and China’s Top Import Partners

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 3, 2016