Competitive Egyptian cement eyes exports boom

Competitive Egyptian cement eyes exports boom
Published: 23 April 2004

Egypt’s cement sector is set to boom this year with many companies taking advantage of cheap production costs and increased demand to boost exports.  Analysts said cheap labour costs, a regional cement shortage as well as improved adherence to environmental regulations meant international markets were opening to Egyptian companies as demand faltered in a large local market.

Egypt’s largest cement exporter, Egyptian Cement Company (ECC), a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), said in a statement its 2003 cement and clinker exports were three times higher than in the previous year, reaching 2.1 million tonnes.

Sinai Cement Managing Director Wafeek Rateb told Reuters on Thursday he expected cement exports to rise to 600,000 tonnes in 2004 from 480,000 tonnes the year before.  He said the competitive prices of Egyptian cement meant it could compete in markets as far away as Latin America, where much of his exports went.