Calls on US to lift cement tariff

Calls on US to lift cement tariff
Published: 24 June 2004

A June 9 "Flash Report" from the Portland Cement Association found "tight supplies" in all or parts of 23 states. Many of the states not yet reporting problems are on the northern border, where the foundation-pouring and road-paving season has only recently begun. Thus, shortages could rapidly spread to these states as well. U.S. cement mills are operating at full capacity, significant expansion is years away, and there are few, if any, ships available to bring cement from foreign sources.

Cement prices are expected to increase by as much as 15-20 per cent over the next few months as domestic mills are operating at, or near, capacity, according to a report from the Portland Cement Association. At the same time, many states in the Southeast and Mid- Atlantic region are reporting that cement is being allocated because of product shortages. "Cement shortages and unexpected higher prices have the effect of delaying construction projects and adding to the cost of those projects," stated James D. Waltze, AGC’s President and a highway contractor from Santa Fe Springs, Calif. "Contractors need to be able to get their projects completed on time and on budget," Waltze added.