Economy, Business And Markets

Cement Industry on the Rocks

Cement Industry on the RocksCement Industry on the Rocks

Close to 20 million tons of clinker–the main material used in the production of cement–are currently stored in warehouses due to shrinking demand, said managing director of Lamerd Cement Company, Ebrahim Gholamzadeh.

According to Abdolreza Sheikhan, the head of Iran’s Cement Employers Association, about 40% of Iran’s 97 clinker furnaces are currently non-operational, IRNA reported.

Recently, a 1,000-ton shipment of white Portland cement destined for Saudi Arabia was returned midway, amid tension with Riyadh over the execution of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, which also led to a group of Saudi allies cutting ties with Iran.

According to Sheikhan, Persian Gulf littoral states are Iran’s primary clinker export destinations and the severance of ties with them will negatively impact the industry.

“Nonetheless, we are, eying clinker and white cement exports to Tanzania and Egypt as alternative markets,” he said.

Iran was the world’s biggest exporter of cement in the last Iranian year (March 2014-15) with the shipment of 19 million tons. In terms of production, the country ranks first in the Middle East and fourth in the world. Last year’s output stood at 75 million tons.

Meanwhile, Tehran’s International Fairground is playing host to the 8th International Exhibition of Cement and Concrete Manufacturing Technologies and Related Machinery. Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Cement Industry Employers Association, Iran International Exhibitions Company and Meshkat Tejarat Yas Company are organizers of the four-day event, which was inaugurated on January 10.