A Mexican importer has given up on selling within the country a shipment of Russian cement that has become for many analysts a symbol of the difficulties of competing with big business in Mexico. Importer CDM has been barred for the last six months from discharging 26,000t of cement because of injunctions obtained by local cement producers including market leader Cemex. The orders first blocked the boat "Mary Nour" from anchoring at one port and then customs authorities impounded the shipment, saying import documents were lacking.
"We expect a solution within 15 days and that our shipment will be set free," Ricardo Alessio, an executive at CDM, said on Wednesday. "But if we try to sell it in Mexico we’re going to face a slander campaign that would hurt our image and take up more time. What we want is to get the investment back, so our strategy is to sell this shipment outside Mexico and then come back with fresh cement," Alessio told Reuters.
Many believe that the Mexican court injunction was aimed at protecting existing Mexican companies from increased competition. Cemex, the world’s No 3 cement maker, strongly denies the accusations. Cemex and Swiss-owned Holcim control around 80 per cent of the 33Mt annual Mexican cement market.