Belarus to cut cement exports

Belarus to cut cement exports
Published: 21 August 2006

Belarusian cement plants plan to reduce exports by 26,000t in order to cut the deficit on the domestic market, First Deputy Architecture and Construction Minister Leonid Sokolovsky told a news conference on Friday.  The Architecture and Construction Ministry and the Trade Ministry agreed to increase cement supplies to the domestic market by 10,500 tonnes in August and 16,000 tonnes in September. 
“Starting August 17 cement plants provide 12 rail cars of cement every day, and the deficit will be dealt with within one week,” First Deputy Trade Minister Mikhail Sventitsky said. 

Domestic demand for cement has risen 50 per cent since April, when President Lukashenko signed an ordinance to allow confiscation of vacant plots of land that have been allotted for construction. 
In January-July 2006 Belarusians bought 104,000t of cement, compared with 129,000t in January-December 2005. 

Specialists with the ministries considered importing the required cement, but imports would have been more expensive than export reductions.  In the period, exports halved to 320,000t, and Sokolovsky noted a necessity to increase cement output, which now stands at 3.5Mta. By 2009 it is planned to expand Belarus cement-producing capacity by 1Mta with a project to build a new cement factory using Iranian technology and equipment.