The Mediterranean Basin is currently under the influence of two major trading forces. On one side, the world’s major cement exporter, Turkey, is tackling a declining exporting volume courtesy of the shrinking import need from Syria and by the increased competition present on the Iraqi cement market where Iran is continuously increasing ground given its more competitive prices. On another end, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy are struggling to soften their tough domestic conditions by tapping into exporting activities.
Both production and consumption dropped sharply this year in the Spanish cement market. The general economic picture is to blame, analysts say, with Spain facing its fifth year of recession. The latest data shows that cement production in Spain fell in the first six months of 2012 to its lowest level in the last 48 years.
In the US, coal has long figured centrally as a source of fuel for the cement sector. But a structural decline in natural gas prices is accelerating the attractiveness for cement operations to switch from coal to natural gas.
Alternative fuels - Building new capabilities The CW Group Publication Manager, Diana Heeb Bivona, sat down with Ed Verhamme, the General Manager of Alternate Resource Partners to discuss waste recovery and alternative fuel options as they relate to the cement industry.
GMI'S CBI Conference hailed a success The annual Cement Business & Industry Conference (CBI) 2012 event took place at the prestigious Leela Hotel in Mumbai, India. The three-day conference, hosted by GMI Global, a leading cement industry meeting and human capital specialist firm, brought together an array of industry leaders with wide-ranging backgrounds from the global and Indian cement industry.
Amid volatility in the construction industry and impending financial crisis in Europe, the majority of the top cement companies scored positive results in the first half of the year. Total volume of cement sales is comparable to last year’s first half record, while volumes in aggregates and concrete slumped by seven percent and nine percent, respectively.
Moving past the challenges of alternative fuel usage
With the mounting burden of energy costs, concerns with the long-term availability of fossil fuels, and increasing awareness of greenhouse gas emissions, cement manufacturers are growing more focused on developing and instituting cost-effective alternatives. The hurdles to change have proven challenging, but several are leading the charge in overcoming those roadblocks.
The CW Group Cement Plant Equipment Tracking Indices climb out of the trough in the first half of 2012 In the first quarter of 2012, the CW Group cement equipment order intake index (CEOI) almost entirely reversed the sharp decline seen in Q4 2011.
Several members of the CW Group, the leading global cement advisory and research firm, and publisher of the India Cement & Construction Materials (ICCM) magazine, will feature prominently at the Cement Business & Industry (CBI) India 2012 conference. ICCM magazine sat down with a few of the group’s key members to gather their thoughts on the event and the role the CW Group will play in this groundbreaking gathering.
Fuel Price Stability and Options Fuel typically accounts for about 40 percent of cement company total operating costs. Fluctuations directly impact margins, profitability, and the ongoing success of the enterprise as a whole. Robert Madeira addresses unstable predictors, price stability and options for cement companies in the first of a CemWeek series on cement fuel strategies and management.
Global cement prices hang on to the positive, continuing an interrupted series of growth since January 2011 through July 2012. The official retail cement price index launched by the CW Group within the Global Cement Retail Price Report (GCRPR) is calculated based on a total of 37 countries, with the median value for June 2011 – July 2012 from a set of 35 countries.