Iran: cement output up

Iran: cement output up
Published: 08 September 2008

The Ministry of Industries and Mines said the country produced 19.7Mt of cement in the first five months of the current Iranian year (started March 20) showing a 21.5-per cent growth over the same period in 2007.

During July 22 to Aug. 21, the country produced 4.4Mt of cement, indicating a 25.4 per cent rise when compared to the figure of the corresponding period of last year, Mehr News Agency reported.

Cement production stood at 97.5 per cent of its nominal capacity in the first five months of the current year.

In related news, prices of cement distributed by the state sector have gone up by 30 per cent while it has experienced a 30-40 per cent drop in the open market.

The nationwide scheme to regulate cement distribution channels is the main reason behind the drop in cement prices. The good news is that state subsidies for cement will soon be scrapped and consequently prices will continue to fall due to increased production by private factories.

In the coming weeks and months, new cement factories will be set up in Bushehr, Isfahan, Sabzevar and Delijan to increase supply.

Since the beginning of summer, cement deliveries to housing cooperatives also increased by 15 million tons, which was another factor for the sharp drop in cement prices in recent weeks.

Under a new government scheme, cement will only be supplied through guilds in an attempt to regulate the distribution channel, cut middlemen activities and keep construction material prices in check.

If this trend were to continue and prices keep falling, low-income first-time buyers will also be able to build a house of their own.