Cement shortage may slow building

Cement shortage may slow building
Published: 11 July 2005

A cement shortage hitting US Oklahoma state threatens to slow building projects and is edging costs higher.  Philip Schwarz, owner of Schwarz Ready Mix, said the shortage is real and will get worse before getting better.  "We’re on allocation. I got a call from one supplier this morning who cut me back about 30 per cent," Schwarz said recently. "It hasn’t been too hard on us yet, but the worst is coming. The last of July and August will be the true test of how bad it’s going to be." 
 
Oklahoma has five cement suppliers -- Cemex Inc., Ash Grove Cement Co., LaFarge North America, Buzzi Unicem USA (formerly Lone Star Industries) and Holcim. Holcim, Buzzi Unicem USA and LaFarge North America have manufacturing facilities in Oklahoma.
 
However Perry Rice, owner of Rice Custom Homes and president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association, said even with cement allocations, there’s enough to take care of local demands.  "If we were to ramp up a whole lot more, the allocation would be affecting us, as it is in Dallas," he said. 
 
Rice said the price of concrete recently increased about US$3 per cubic yard, now costing an average of US$78 per cubic yard, depending on additives and sales tax. He estimated it probably takes about 100 yards of concrete to pour the foundation, driveway, patio, porches and sidewalks in a 2000-square-foot home.
 
Turkish Cement exports to Iraq up  TRADE
Turkish cement exports to Iraq shot up 250 per cent year-on-year to 176,354t in the first six months of 2005, the Turkish Central Anatolia Exporter Unions (OAIB) said on July 8, 2005.  Turkish cement exports to Iraq totalled $10.71m a 388.1 per cent increase.