Lithuania`s producers of building materials, as predicted, have come across the shortage of cement in August, with the sole cement producer Akmenes Cementas (Akmene Cement) being unable to satisfy the demand.
Amid short supply of Belarus-made cement, Lithuania`s consumers have turned to ‘more expensive’ Polish product.
"The price has already become a secondary factor. The main challenge is to satisfy the demand, however, the shortage of cement is obvious all across Europe," said Nerimantas Valenta, CEO of Gerdukas, the Lithuanian cement importer and wholesaler.
Arturas Zaremba, CEO of Akmenes Cementas, assured in June that the shortage of cement would be avoided this summer since the company operated at full strength.
Edmundas Montvila, Akmenes Cementas` production director, confirmed that the company utilized full capacities and produced 120,000t of cement per month. He admitted, however, that the producer was unable to satisfy the demand in full.
The shortage of cement had been envisaged, though this summer the situation was better than last year, said Vytautas Caplikas, vice-president of Lithuanian Construction Industry Association, which lists the producers of construction materials among its members.
"The shortage is less critical than last year. Some cement is delivered from Poland, although the prices there are higher," Caplikas noted.
The imports of Belarus-made cement have declined on the back of implementation of respective EU regulations and higher demand for cement in Belarus and Russia.
The board of Akmenes Cementas decided in July to replace the cement production technology. The capacities of the new line valued at 280 million litas (EUR 81m) will exceed the capacities of current two lines. However, the new line could only be started up in approximately 4 or 5 years.