Overall, the value of cement exports increased by an average 9.8% for all exporting countries since 2016 when cement shipments were valued at $9.8 billion. From 2019 to 2020, international sales of exported cement sales dropped by -6.9%.
The 5 leading cement exporters (Vietnam, Turkey, Thailand, Germany, Canada) account for almost four-tenths (38.2%) of worldwide shipments of cement during 2020.
By category, Portland cement accounts for about three-fifths (60.9%) 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 almost a third (32.6%) while miscellaneous hydraulic cements and aluminous cements came in at 4.8% and 1.7% respectively.
From a continental perspective, Asian countries sold the most exported cement during 2020 with shipments valued at $5.7 billion or 52.5% of global cement exports. In second place were European exporters at 29.2% while 8.5% of worldwide cement shipments originated from Africa. Another 7.5% worth were shipped from North America.
Smaller percentages came from Latin America (2.2%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (0.1%) led by New Zealand and Australia.
For research purposes, the four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for cement materials is 2523.
Cement Exports by Country
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of cement during 2020.
- Vietnam: US$1.4 billion (12.5% of total cement exports)
- Turkey: $1.2 billion (11.3%)
- Thailand: $548.4 million (5.1%)
- Germany: $511.4 million (4.7%)
- Canada: $503.3 million (4.7%)
- Japan: $361.9 million (3.3%)
- Spain: $349.9 million (3.2%)
- Indonesia: $321.4 million (3%)
- United Arab Emirates: $259.4 million (2.4%)
- Pakistan: $257.3 million (2.4%)
- Belgium: $249.4 million (2.3%)
- Ireland: $236.6 million (2.2%)
- China: $220.5 million (2%)
- South Korea: $204.8 million (1.9%)
- Saudi Arabia: $192.3 million (1.8%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 62.8% of global cement exported in 2020 by value.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing cement exporters since 2019 were: Turkey (up 31.1%), Indonesia (up 16.3%), Ireland (up 12.8%) and Belgium (up 9.3%).
Those countries that posted declines in their exported cement sales were led by: United Arab Emirates (down -47.9%), China (down -36.5%), Saudi Arabia (down -21%), South Korea (down -20.3%) and Thailand (down -19%).
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for cement during 2020. 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.
- Vietnam: US$1.3 billion (net export surplus up 3.8% since 2019)
- Turkey: $1.2 billion (up 31.1%)
- Thailand: $488.1 million (down -18.3%)
- Canada: $376.3 million (down -10.3%)
- Japan: $331.6 million (up 7.9%)
- Germany: $329.2 million (down -11.7%)
- Indonesia: $319 million (up 16.6%)
- Spain: $284 million (down -4.4%)
- Pakistan: $252.8 million (up 0.3%)
- United Arab Emirates: $248.3 million (down -47.6%)
- Ireland: $219.6 million (up 13%)
- Saudi Arabia: $178.3 million (down -20.1%)
- South Korea: $170.6 million (down -21.9%)
- Greece: $159.9 million (down -19.7%)
- Mexico: $145.7 million (up 7%)
Vietnam generated the highest surplus in the international trade of cement. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms Vietnam’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for cement during 2020. 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.
- China: -US$1.3 billion (net export deficit up 60.8% since 2019)
- United States: -$1.28 billion (up 3%)
- Philippines: -$476.4 million (down -12.1%)
- Bangladesh: -$368.4 million (down -41.6%)
- France: -$316.3 million (up 4.7%)
- Sri Lanka: -$315.3 million (down -35.1%)
- Israel: -$292.2 million (up 25.5%)
- Netherlands: -$283.3 million (up 0.7%)
- Hong Kong: -$204.5 million (up 26.7%)
- Australia: -$182.3 million (down -11.7%)
- Singapore: -$142.8 million (down -32.5%)
- Burkina Faso: -$140.9 million (up 86.2%)
- Mali: -$138.5 million (down -31.2%)
- Ghana: -$138 million (down -56%)
- Uzbekistan: -$120 million (down -17%)
The People’s Republic of China and the United States of America posted the highest deficits in the international trade of cement. In turn, these negative cashflows highlight both economic powerhouses’ strong competitive disadvantages for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for cement-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.
Top Cement Exporting Companies
According to the Global Cement Directory 2013, the following cement exporting companies lead the world in cement production capacity.
- Anhui Conch (China)
- Lafarge (France)
- Holcim (Switzerland)
- CNBM (China)
- HeidelbergCement (Germany)
- Italcementi (Italy)
- Cemex (Mexico)
- Taiwan Cement Corp (Taiwan)
- China Resources (China)
- 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 Aerospace Exports by Country, Aircraft Parts Exports by Country, Top Industrial Robots Exporters and China’s Top Trading Partners
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on September 9, 2021
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 9, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 9, 2021
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 9, 2021