Two Japanese cement firms look to Russia for growth

Two Japanese cement firms look to Russia for growth
Published: 08 April 2008

Ube-Mitsubishi Cement Corp. and Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co each plan to begin exporting cement to Russia this month in a bid to break into the market, The Nikkei reported.  
This is the first time for Japanese cement firms to undertake large-scale exports to Russia.  
Both companies recently entered alliances with major Russian cement maker Spassk Cement, which is based in Vladivostok, Russia’s largest port city on the Pacific Ocean. Under the deals, Ube-Mitsubishi will export over 20,000t of clinker, and Sumitomo  Osaka Cement will ship 3,000t. By year’s end, Ube-Mitsubishi aims to send 200,000t of clinker, roughly 5% of its total exports, to Spassk Cement.  
In fiscal 2007, sales of cement in Japan likely slipped 5.9% on the year to some 55Mt, with demand tumbling nearly 30% since the peak in the first half of the 1990s. Both companies hope that by tapping the Russian market and diversifying earnings, they can offset shrinking Japanese sales.