The agreement between Mexico and the US to end their 16-year dispute over cement exports will come into force April 3 and the Mexican government has published the list of export quotas in its official gazette. Signed at the start of this month by US secretary of commerce Carlos Gutiérrez and Mexico’s minister of economy, Sergio García, the agreement means that Mexican companies will be allowed to export 3 million tonnes (Mt) per year of cement to the US, paying duty of US$3/t instead of the previous tariff of US$26/t until at least 2009.
Of this 3Mt total, some 94 per cent (2.82Mt) has been allocated to just two Mexican companies: Cemex and Cementos de Chihuahua. The remaining six per cent (180,000t) will be split between companies who have not exported previously, including Holcim Apasco, Cruz Azul, Cementos Moctezuma and Lafarge Cementos.
The 3Mt will also be divided among the regions in the southern US states that can make imports. These will be: Alabama/Mississippi (55,000t); Arizona (1.25Mt); California (150,000t); Florida (200,000t); New Mexico/El Paso (725,000t); New Orleans (280,000t); Texas (215,000t); rest of US (125,000t).
New exporters will have to adhere to the following breakdown of their 180,000t total quota by region: Alabama/Mississippi (3,300t); Arizona (75,000t); California (9,000t); Florida (12,000t); New Mexico/El Paso (43,500t); New Orleans (16,800t); Texas (12,900t); rest of US (7,500t).
The agreement also allows an "additional quota for Mexican cement exports to the US of 200,000t in case of declaration of a state of emergency as a result of disaster," according to the gazette.