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LATEST CEMENT INDUSTRY NEWS
US:Portland Cement Association predicts continued growth in 2015
The Portland Cement Association s (PCA) Chief Economist and Group Vice President, Edward J. Sullivan, has predicted that cement consumption will grow by 7.5% y/y and that growth will continue with a slight increase again in 2016. Speaking at the 2015 PCA Spring Meeting, Sullivan said: “The forecast indicates that the healing in the US economy has taken place.”

“Industry projections continue to be in line with generally improving economic construction fundamentals,” he added.

Sustained strength in job creation, coupled with a gradual shift in the mix of jobs toward higher skills and more significant wage pressures suggest added strength to consumer spending. Consumer balance sheets have endured a healing period, and with improvement in the labour markets will be more able to spend than they have been in quite some time.

Sullivan forecasts that cement and clinker imports would increase to 36.6% in 2017, up 24 percentage points from the previous year. The rapid growth is projected to continue at an even higher rate in 2018.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr,16,2015

Iran:Iran produced 60Mt of cement in 2015 financial year
Iran: Iran produced roughly 60Mt of cement in the last Iranian calendar year, which started on 21 March 2014. Of the total, 18Mt was exported, of which 80% went to Iraq, according to Shahriar Geravandi, a member of Iran s Cement Industries Association Board of Directors. He added that Iran is seeking new export markets. According to Geravandi, there are 68 cement plants in Iran.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr,16,2015

Lafarge to expand plant despite competition
Zambia: Lafarge Zambia will begin work on the US$217m expansion of its cement plant in Lusaka in 2015 despite the recent opening of Dangote s cement plant in the country and slow regional economic growth.

Construction will start in the second half of 2015 and be completed in 2018, according to Emmanuel Rigaux, chief executive of the plant. The work will double Lafarge s cement production capacity to 2Mt/yr.

Lafarge s expansion and Dangote s new plant are not expected to cause a cement glut in Zambia, mainly because of demand from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. "The growth there is massive, in fact it s even higher than in Zambia," said Rigaux.

Chinese and Zambian officials also appear to be planning the construction of a cement plant in Zambia: Find story here.

UAECEMENT.COM - Apr,11,2015

Arabian Cement appoints CNBM in $96.5m deal
Arabian Cement has signed a contract worth $96.5m which will see new cement mills built for a new prodution line at its factory in Riyadh.

The company said the new line will be built by China National Building Materials and will take 13 months to complete. It is due to be operational by the third quarter of 2016. A contract still remains to be signed for building an associated clinker production line.

In the year to December 31, 2014, Arabian Cement Co saw its sales increase by 26% to $458.6m (SR1.72bn). Net profits were up 235% to $172m due to its improved sales, reduced writedowns and better sale prices in the Jordanian market where the firm has an active subsidiary.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr,11,2015

Nigeria s Dangote Cement 2014 profit falls, cuts dividend
Nigeria s Dangote Cement said on Thursday its 2014 pretax profit fell to 184.68 billion naira ($928 million), from 190.76 billion naira a year earlier.

Revenues rose to 391.63 billion naira during the period to December 31, compared with 386.17 billion naira the previous year, Nigeria s biggest firm by market capitalisation said in a statement.

The cement firm, majority owned by Africa s richest man Aliko Dangote, cut its dividend payment for 2014 to 6 naira per share, from the 7 naira it paid a year earlier.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 08,2015

Vietnam,Cement consumption in Q1 falls 0.5 pct y/y
Vietnam s cement consumption in the first quarter eased 0.5 percent to 10.6 million tonnes from a year earlier as March exports fell 35 percent and many projects started late after a long holiday, the Vietnam Economic Times newspaper reported, citing the Construction Ministry.

Besides, domestic consumption in March also dropped 23 percent from a year earlier to 3.91 million tonnes, the report said.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 08,2015

Saudi cement sales are higher, but prices weaken
Cement sales in Saudi Arabia continue to show positive growth, but are being discounted as a slowdown in the market continues.

According to new research from NCB Capital, sales for the month of February 2015 were 6.5% higher than in February 2013 and 9.7% higher than February 2014 when the market was impacted by a labour shortage caused by a government immigration crackdown.

Sales were 3.3% lower than in January 2015, but this was due to the shorter working month.

NCB Capital said the increase was led by smaller players in the market like Najran Cement and Aljouf, who are continuing to sell at discounts in the busy Western and Central regions.

"We believe larger players have also started offering discounts, however, at different magnitudes."

The increased sales meant that clinker stocks, which were at record highs as firms had started to stockpile, fell for the second month in a row to 20.4 tons.

Saudi Arabia has 15 cement producers, with Saudi Cement Co possessing the greatest market share, with 8.8% of the market. It is followed by Southern Province Cement (7.7%) and Yanbu Cement (6.3%). The latter has just published Q1 2015 results which revealed a 12.5% fall in net profits to $55.2m, which has been attributed to lower-than-expected selling prices.

"We believe the company began offering discounts as inventory reached all-time highs due to a continued slowdown in demand," NCB Capital said. "Selling prices could have been as low as SR230/ton. This compares to our estimates of SR248/ton, 1Q14 of SR250/ton and 4Q14 of SR242/ton."

The amount of cement being exported has increased by one-third (3.3%) over the past year - from 48,000 tons in February 2014 to 64,000 tons this year.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 08,2015

Cement consumption in Q1 falls 0.5 pct y/y - Vietnam Economic Times
Vietnam s cement consumption in the first quarter eased 0.5 percent to 10.6 million tonnes from a year earlier as March exports fell 35 percent and many projects started late after a long holiday, the Vietnam Economic Times newspaper reported, citing the Construction Ministry.

Besides, domestic consumption in March also dropped 23 percent from a year earlier to 3.91 million tonnes, the report said.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 04,2015

KSE-100 gains 282 points on cement, financials scrips
KARACHI: Karachi Stocks Exchange (KSE) remained in green zone on recovery mode as cement, financials and almost all scrips excluding energy sector witnessed upturn on Friday, floor brokers said.

KSE-100 index gained 281.71 points to close at 31,413.96 points as compared to 31,132.25 of
the previous session.
The KSE-30 Index rose
by 104.63 points and
closed at 19,886.19 points against 19,781.56 points of last closing.

Haris Ahmed Batla of Elixir Securities said another round of bull rally with benchmark index sustaining 31,000 level to close at 31,414 points. Despite positive open, index struggled in early trade as oil stocks were seen under pressure following bearish sentiments in international crude to hurt index heavy Oil and Gas Development Company (minus 2.89 percent), Pakistan Petroleum (minus 2.34 percent) and Pakistan Oil Fields (minus 4.85 percent), that went on to hit lower price limit towards the close. On the contrary, sentiments remained bullish in wider market led by cement and financials, out of most closing on their respective upper price limits. Second tier illiquid and prime beneficiaries of declining oil prices, namely Berger Paints (plus 5 percent) and Ittehad Chemicals (plus 5 percent) also managed to close at upper price limit while volumes chart remained dominated by small cap retail plays, he added.

Batla expectrd market to consolidate at current levels following sharp recovery of 10 percent in last 4 trading sessions while he remained optimistic on index over improving macros and expected visit of Chinese President due this month.

Habib Metropolitan Financial Services analyst Kumail Chevelwalla said, “Bullish sentiments continued to be prevalent on the local bourse as almost all the scrip traded in green pastures with the exception of oil stocks which at times created downward drag on the overall index following the news of Iran-US outline agreement”.

Energy stocks were the leaders in turnover with penny stock TRG taking lead with 26 million traded volumes. Following the recent unjustified battering of cements, majority of the stocks closed near their upper limits. The market has already gained 3.9 percent approx in the three trading sessions of the new month and with negative sentiment slowly abating, we expected trading on fundamentals to resume and investors to take advantage of attractive valuations, said Chevelwalla.

The market volume increased to 285.062 million shares traded on Friday as compared to 201.986 million shares traded in previous session. The overall market capitalisation swelled to Rs 6.934 trillion as compared to Rs 6.903 trillion of previous session.

Trading value at local bourse jacked up to Rs 12.650 billion against Rs 10.330 billion of previous session. Out of 362 scrips, 270 scrips advanced, 75 scrips declined while the value of 17 scrips remained unchanged.

The KMI-30 index increased by 292.79 points to close at 51,353.88 points as compared to 51,061.09 points of the previous session. The KSE all-share index went 102.80 points up to close at 22,270.04 points as compared to 22,167.24 points of the previous session.

TRG Pak Limited was the volume leader in the market with 28.784 million shares as it closed at Rs 15.91 followed by Pak Elektron with trading of 22.864 million shares
and closed at Rs 50.78. Japan Power traded 19.957 million shares and closed at Rs 3.83.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 04,2015

Holcim open to giving Eurocement board seat to save Lafarge merger
Swiss cement maker Holcim is open to giving Russia s Eurocement a seat on the board after its merger with French peer Lafarge goes through, Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle told Bloomberg on Wednesday.

The comments were confirmed by a Holcim spokesman.

Russian businessman Filaret Galchev, who owns a 10.8 percent stake in Holcim via Eurocement Holding AG, on Sunday rejected the renegotiated merger terms that Holcim had reached with Lafarge in mid-March.

"You can assume that we are speaking with all shareholders and also with him," Reitzle told Bloomberg, referring to Galchev s Eurocement.

"It would be beneficial to have him in the board as he would bring in lots of expertise from the cement sector."



Reitzle also said that the future CEO of the combined company would be named in the next two weeks.

He excluded re-opening the negotiations with Lafarge on the share-exchange ratio or paying a special dividend to Holcim shareholders to win them over to the deal.

Holcim shareholders, some of whom remain sceptical of the cement industry mega-merger, must ratify the deal at a shareholder meeting on May 8.
UAECEMENT.COM - Apr, 02,2015

Trinetra Cement shareholders approve merger with India Cements
Shareholders of Trinetra Cement Ltd have given their consent to the scheme of amalgamation and arrangement between the company and Trishul Concrete Products Ltd with India Cements.

According to a company filing with the regulator, the proposal was passed with requisite majority.

The total number of shares in the company is 44,75,600. A total of 27,40,262 votes were polled and all the votes ppolled were in favour of the Scheme of Arrangement.



It may be noted that in May, 2014, India Cements said that as part of restructuring, the company is planning to merge its subsidiary Trinetra Cement Ltd, and to sell lands near to its plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

N Srinivasan, vice chairman and managing director, India Cements, said that the company wants to consolidate cement operations and the merger of Trinetra Cement Ltd and Trishul Concrete Products with India Cements will bring operations under one company.

"We will get the benefit of profitability of Trinetra and improve the performance of India Cements," he said, adding that post the merger total capacity of India Cements will go 15.8 million tonnes.

From a two plant company having a capacity of just 1.3 million tonnes in 1989, in the last two decades India Cements total capacity increased to 15.5 million tonnes per annum. It has seven integrated cement plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, one in Rajasthan (through its subsidiary, Trinetra Cement Ltd) and two grinding units, one each in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, it was reported.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,30,2015

Lebanon:Zahle cement factory to be relocated: Bishop
BEIRUT: A controversial cement factory that was set to be built in Zahle will be relocated to another area, Bishop Issam Darwish announced Wednesday.

The planned cement factory, which has been met with widespread opposition for Zahle residents and officials over health and environmental concerns, will now be relocated after an agreement was reached with the head of the project, Pierre Fattouch, Archbishop of the Greek Catholic diocese of Zahle and Forzol Issam Darwish said in a news conference Wednesday.

The new location of the factory has yet to be disclosed.

The announcement comes three days after Zahle MP’s held a joint news conference, announcing that they would continue to oppose the construction of the factory despite the Shura Counil’s approval of the project.

The MPs argued that local officials and residents in Zahle are opposed the plan out of health and environmental concerns. They added that the environmental problems would not only affect the city of Zahle, but the entire district as well, and called on the Shura Council to reevaluate its decision.

The original decision to allow the construction of the cement factory by businessman Pierre Fattoush was made last October. Local citizens and influential politicians have since pressured the municipality to revoke its decision.

The project received national attention last December when more than a dozen gunmen loyal to Pierre Fattoush assaulted an Al-Jadeed reporter and cameraman as they were wrapping up a report about the plant.

UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,28,2015

Dangote results take a dive in 2014


Nigeria: Dangote Cement s pretax profit fell by 3.2% to US$928m in 2014 due to a gas shortage at its plants and low demand after prolonged wet weather. The company, Africa s biggest cement company, said that sales volumes in its main Nigerian market fell by 3.2% to 12.87Mt, weaker than the decline in the overall market of 0.8% to 21Mt. It expected market growth in Nigeria to be muted in 2015 owing to election and currency worries, worsened by the fall in government revenues that have triggered by the plunge in world oil prices.

Dangote s full-year revenues for 2014 climbed to US$1.97bn during the 12 months to 31 December 2014, up from US$1.97bn in 2013, due to growth from Dangote s other African operations. It said that unreliable gas supplies to its Obajana plant constrained production, while prolonged rainfall in the second half of last year led to a slowdown in construction. Dangote is increasingly turning its attention from Nigeria to elsewhere in Africa. In 2015 it expects to commission new cement plants in Cameroon, Zambia, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

GlobalCement - Mar,28,2015

Cement firm sales set to surge 15pc
ISTANBUL: The cement business of Turkey s Sabanci Holding expects its sales to rise 10-15 per cent this year and is looking for acquisition opportunities, its chief executive said.

Sabanci s cement group, consisting of cement companies Akcansa and Cimsa, posted a 16pc increase in sales to 2.5 billion lira ($980 million) in 2014, the cement unit s chief executive Hakan Gurdal said.

We are chasing opportunities for growth abroad. Financial structures of Akcansa and Cimsa are getting stronger, creating serious potential. We currently have the ability to borrow up to $1.5bn to fund an acquisition, Gurdal said.

Sabanci Holding was in a consortium that offered bids for some of the assets put up for sale by cement makers Lafarge and Holcim after their mega-merger. But Irish cement maker CRH agreed to buy the assets for 6.5bn euros.

Sabanci has long been interested in acquisitions, but has not bought any companies. Gurdal explained this was due to geopolitical risks in Turkey s neighbouring region.

Gurdal also said the group had an investment target of 300-330m lira, most of which would be invested in a factory in the Aegean province of Afyon. The factory is expected to start producing in May next year.

UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,25,2015

QNCC: Cement productivity to increase by 12%
Qatar National Cement Company (QNCC) is aiming to meet the growing appetite for cement in Qatar, as the infrastructure projects increasingly put a demand on this vital commodity.

QNCC claims to catering to over 70% of the local demand and anticipates that the total cement production capacity will be increased to over four million tonnes per annum, with the operation of two new mills by the end of this year. This will be a nearly 12% increase from the existing capacity.

The company s total production (in all categories of cement) increased to 3.5 million tonnes in 2014, up nearly three percent compared to 3.4 million tonnes produced during the previous year.

"Our two new mills are scheduled to begin operation this year. The first will commence production from October 15, 2015, while, the second one is expected to start by the year-end," said Salem Butti Al Naimi, chairman and managing director of QNCC, adding, "the whole plant will start running at full capacity by early next year producing about 23,000 tonnes per day."

Speaking on the sidelines of QNCC s Annual General Meeting (AGM) Al Naimi said: "We are expecting the demand for cement in Qatar will continue to grow in the coming years, and we at QNCC are ready to meet any surge in demand. If the market needs more than our full capacity, we are ready to import from outside."

He offered no estimated peak demand for cement in the run-up-to 2022, and said: "We are not the only supplier in the market. The quantum of demand and growth rate will largely depend on the number of new projects awarded and the progress of the ongoing projects."

He added that the demand for cement in Qatar is also influenced by many other factors, such as the weather conditions, Ramadan and summer working timings, when the demand for cement drops significantly.

Last year the company signed a letter of intent with a French company to further boost its production capacity, in view of the raising demand. The contract was signed for the construction of QNCC s Cement Plant Line 5.

The company had reported a net profit of QAR420.3m for the year ended December 31, 2014, which was down by nearly three percent compared to QAR433.3m in 2013. The Earnings per Share (EPS) amounted to QAR8.56 in 2014 compared to QAR8.82 in 2013.
UAECEMENT.COM - Mar,23,2015


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