Turkish cement exports to Iraq hit a record 2Mt in 2004 but could fall this year due to growing price competition and increasing security problems there, the Turkish cement association said.
An improvement in the security situation in neighbouring northern Iraq could provide some support to the sector, however, Turkish Cement Manufacturers’ Association President Adnan Ignebekcili said.
According to association data, total cement exports increased nine per cent in 2004 to 8Mt from 7.36Mt a year earlier, with Iraq being the biggest market. Other major markets are Italy, the United States and Portugal.
"Exports to Iraq ... like other Middle East countries of Egypt and Syria, could decrease due to price competition and the growing security problems in road transport," Ignebekcili said. Total cement exports will at most remain around 2004 levels this year.
Overall Turkish cement sales are expected to increase by around 6-8 per cent this year if the current pace of economic growth is sustained after 10 per cent growth in 2004, the association said.