Cement Exports by Country

Concrete tiles

Concrete tiles

Global sales from cement exports by country totaled US$8.8 billion in 2017. 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 67% 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 24.7% while miscellaneous hydraulic cements and aluminous cements came in at 5.5% and 2.9% respectively.

Overall, the value of cement exports fell by an average -32.4% for all exporting countries since 2013 when cement shipments were valued at $13 billion. Year over year, exported cement sales retreated by -9.4% from 2016 to 2017.

Among continents, Asian countries accounted for the highest dollar value worth of exported cement during 2017 with shipments amounting to $4.1 billion or 46.1% of global cement exports. In second place were European exporters at 35.6% while 8.8% of worldwide cement shipments originated from North America.

African exporters supplied 5.9% of the worldwide total with 2.7% of international cement sales originating from Latin America (excluding Mexico) plus the Caribbean.

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 2017:

  1. China: US$580.4 million (6.6% of exported cement)
  2. Thailand: $550 million (6.3%)
  3. Turkey: $531.4 million (6%)
  4. Germany: $500.2 million (5.7%)
  5. Canada: $446.1 million (5.1%)
  6. Vietnam: $442.6 million (5%)
  7. Spain: $441.9 million (5%)
  8. Japan: $358.4 million (4.1%)
  9. United Arab Emirates: $353.9 million (4%)
  10. India: $239.7 million (2.7%)
  11. Greece: $230.8 million (2.6%)
  12. Pakistan: $210.4 million (2.4%)
  13. United States: $201.7 million (2.3%)
  14. Ireland: $154.3 million (1.8%)
  15. Croatia: $148.9 million (1.7%)

The listed 15 countries shipped almost two-thirds (61.3%) of global exports in 2017 (by value).

Only four grew their cement exports since 2013 namely Canada (up 52%), Ireland (up 39.9%), Japan (up 5.9%) and Thailand (up 3.5%).

Those top suppliers that posted declines in their export sales were led by: Pakistan (down -60.3%), Vietnam (down -43.7%), Turkey (down -28%), China (down -27.1%) and the United States (down -24%).

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for cement during 2017. 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$528.1 million (net export surplus down -30.3% since 2013)
  2. Turkey: $520.1 million (down -28.2%)
  3. Thailand: $502.1 million (down -4.3%)
  4. Vietnam: $403 million (down -47.9%)
  5. Spain: $395 million (down -10.5%)
  6. United Arab Emirates: $347.2 million (down -14.2%)
  7. Japan: $321 million (up 19.5%)
  8. Germany: $304.9 million (down -26.4%)
  9. Canada: $290 million (up 193.7%)
  10. Greece: $217 million (down -16.2%)
  11. Pakistan: $196.4 million (down -62.5%)
  12. Ireland: $137 million (up 41.4%)
  13. India: $130.6 million (down -29.1%)
  14. Indonesia: $124.6 million (reversing a -$199.7 million deficit)
  15. Croatia: $122.8 million (down -7.4%)

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 2017. 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$957.3 million (net export deficit up 152.7% since 2013)
  2. Sri Lanka: -$525.6 million (up 1%)
  3. Philippines: -$393.7 million (up 279.5%)
  4. Nepal: -$264 million (up 131.8%)
  5. France: -$261.9 million (down -8.7%)
  6. Hong Kong: -$248.4 million (up 124.8%)
  7. Netherlands: -$236 million (up 170.7%)
  8. Israel: -$215.2 million (up 81.3%)
  9. Singapore: -$185.8 million (down -45.3%)
  10. Bangladesh: -$174.1 million (down -72.2%)
  11. Australia: -$161.7 million (up 27.8%)
  12. Cambodia: -$155.3 million (up 99.4%)
  13. Oman: -$150.3 million (down -30.1%)
  14. Colombia: -$136.8 million (up 140.5%)
  15. Kuwait: -$135.6 million (down -14.3%)

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 Cement Imports by Country, Highest Value Chinese Export Products, Highest Value Thai Export Products and China’s Top Trading Partners

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 25, 2018