Global gray cement prices fell 11+ percent year-on-year, according to preliminary figures presented in the CW Research’s 3/4Q2015 update to its benchmark price assessment for monthly worldwide trade of gray cement, white cement, clinker, and slag, as well as ex-works and effective market prices: Global Cement Trade Price Report (GCTPR).
The global trade of cementitious products has generally seen a declining trend in both volumes and prices in the quarter to September 2015. CW Research’s 3/4Q2015 GCTPR shows trade prices mostly influenced by developments in foreign exchange rates as many currencies have depreciated sharply against the U.S. dollar. Moreover, due to the slow progress of the economy at a global scale, worldwide cement demand is projected to decline by about 2.7 percent in 2015.
Notably, the quantity of traded gray cement fell by 0.5 percent in the second quarter of the year (the latest quarter with complete data sets) as compared to 2Q2014. Exports of gray cement fell marginally in volume terms, while the global outlook for export pricing remained mixed, highly dependent on foreign exchange rate developments. The major gray cement exporters in 2Q2015 were China and Thailand, which accounted for 15+ percent and 14+ percent respectively of total global gray cement exports.
The December 2015 FOB prices for clinker sourced from the Asia-Pacific-Japan region are expected to see a 1.7 percent increase from August, influenced by stronger pricing in China, India and Japan. Meanwhile, the December average CIF price for the region is expected to reach USD 48.6 per ton, down 0.2 percent from 3Q2015. The December clinker FOB prices in the Mediterranean Basin are expected to represent an increase of 1.8 percent over September’s price point.
Moreover, the report projects a contraction trend for gray cement prices in Asia-Pacific-Japan, North America, and Caribbean, and a growing trend in all the other regions in the fourth quarter of the year. Notably, in the Asia-Pacific-Japan region, export prices are expected to show slight variations (-0.3 percent) QoQ, while export prices for gray cement in Eastern and Western Europe are projected to improve by 2% in 4Q2015. For North America and the Caribbean region, December’s figure is expected to reflect a 1+ percent increase on a year-on-year basis, in spite of a MoM decrease in 4Q2015.
In the Asia-Pacific-Japan region, slag export prices are projected to increase 1+ percent in December, in comparison to September 2015. For white cement, China’s notable 26+ percent rise MoM expected in 4Q2015 confirms the recovering trend for FOB prices in Asia-Pacific-Japan region.
“Anemic and uneven economic growth, reduced off take from China and the strengthening dollar are all impacting cement demand and trade and putting pressure on prices. As a highlight, we saw countries like Turkey and Mexico experience a fall in their FOB prices for white cement. For slag export December prices in Western Europe, the 12 percent estimated growth will be determined by the two main exporters in the region, Germany and Austria.” said Prashant Singh, CW Group Associate Director in the Mumbai, India office.