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.
The overall value of cement exports rose by an average 14.3% for all exporting countries since five years earlier in 2018 when cement shipments were valued at $11.5 billion.
Year over year, the value of globally exported cement shrank by -2.1% compared to $13.5 billion during 2021.
The 5 biggest cement exporters in 2022 were Vietnam, Türkiye, Germany, Egypt and Canada. Combined, that subgroup of major cement suppliers generated almost two-fifths (39%) of worldwide cement shipments by value.
By product type, Portland cement exceeded three-fifths (62.9%) 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 a smaller percentage at 29.6% while miscellaneous hydraulic cements and aluminous cements came in at 5.8% and 1.6% respectively.
From a continental perspective, Asian countries sold the most exported cement during 2022 with shipments valued at $6.3 billion or 48.1% of global cement exports. In second place were European exporters at 26% while 16% of worldwide cement shipments originated from Africa. Another 7.2% worth of cement were shipped from North America.
Smaller percentages came from sellers in Latin America (2.7%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.1%) led by Fiji, 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 25 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of cement during 2022.
- Vietnam: US$1.8 billion (13.8% of total cement exports)
- Türkiye: $1.7 billion (12.6%)
- Germany: $588.6 million (4.5%)
- Egypt: $570.2 million (4.3%)
- Canada: $512.9 million (3.9%)
- Algeria: $494 million (3.7%)
- Spain: $429.4 million (3.3%)
- Thailand: $380.8 million (2.9%)
- Indonesia: $376.6 million (2.9%)
- Japan: $375.3 million (2.8%)
- Belgium: $320.3 million (2.4%)
- United Arab Emirates: $282 million (2.1%)
- Mexico: $264.4 million (2%)
- Greece: $231.9 million (1.8%)
- China: $209.5 million (1.6%)
- Slovakia: $202 million (1.5%)
- Saudi Arabia: $196.5 million (1.5%)
- Croatia: $190.1 million (1.4%)
- Italy: $181.1 million (1.4%)
- Ireland: $178.4 million (1.4%)
- United States: $171.4 million (1.3%)
- Pakistan: $167.9 million (1.3%)
- Malaysia: $160.8 million (1.2%)
- South Korea: $128.1 million (1%)
- Zambia: $124.8 million (0.9%)
By value, the listed 25 countries shipped 77.4% of global cement exported in 2022.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing cement exporters since 2021 were: Algeria (up 94%), Mexico (up 47.8%), Egypt (up 44.8%) and Malaysia (up 21.7%).
Major suppliers that posted the severest declines in their exported cement sales were led by: United Arab Emirates (down -55.9% from 2021), Pakistan (down -38.1%), South Korea (down -32.8%), Thailand (down -24.1%) and Saudi Arabia (down -20%).
Countries Generating Largest Trade Surpluses from Cement
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for cement during 2022. 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$1.8 billion (net export surplus up 9.6% since 2021)
- Türkiye: $1.7 billion (up 21.6%)
- Egypt: $566.6 million (up 44.8%)
- Algeria: $493.3 million (up 95.7%)
- Germany: $408.2 million (down -2.9%)
- Indonesia: $372.7 million (down -7.1%)
- Japan: $342.5 million (down -1.3%)
- Thailand: $313.3 million (down -28.2%)
- Canada: $306.5 million (down -15.3%)
- Spain: $304.8 million (down -7%)
- United Arab Emirates: $266.3 million (down -57.9%)
- Mexico: $248.2 million (up 53%)
- Greece: $196.5 million (up 11.7%)
- Saudi Arabia: $191.1 million (down -17.1%)
- Pakistan: $164.4 million (down -38.3%)
World-leading 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.
Countries Facing Worst Trade Deficits from Cement
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for cement during 2022. 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.
- United States: -US$2.5 billion (net export deficit up 51.5% since 2021)
- Philippines: -$635.8 million (up 5%)
- United Kingdom: -$523.5 million (up 63.1%)
- France: -$468.1 million (down -10.4%)
- Netherlands: -$452.3 million (up 56.9%)
- Israel: -$439.4 million (up 28.7%)
- mainland China: -$391.5 million (down -72.8%)
- Bangladesh: -$327.5 million (down -55.2%)
- Ivory Coast: -$274.5 million (up 6.2%)
- Singapore: -$270.3 million (up 17.1%)
- Australia: -$236.2 million (up 13.2%)
- Hong Kong: -$222.7 million (up 6.5%)
- Chile: -$198 million (up 22.7%)
- Sri Lanka: -$192.2 million (down -34.1%)
- Ghana: -$174 million (down -3.3%)
The United States of America and mainland China incurred 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 Cement Imports by Country, Paper Exports by Country, China’s Top Trading Partners, Turkey’s Top Trading Partners and Thailand’s Top 25 Trading Partners
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on August 22, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 22, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 22, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 22, 2023