North Africa: mixed fortunes

Published 26 February 2018

ICR takes a look at the current economic and political challenges facing cement producers in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, and how they are responding to this rapidly-changing landscape.

As Algeria’s cement production touches 30Mt and the domestic market is expected to require 28Mt, the country is

envisaged to commence regular exports. Meanwhile, production capacity is growing with Lafarge-Souakri Group

joint venture, Cilas commissioning its 2.7Mta Biskra plant in 2017

Geopolitical tensions and conflicts have played havoc with the economies of north Africa. While Algeria has worked hard to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in poverty in the past two decades, weak security conditions and blockaded oil infrastructure have hampered Libya’s recovery efforts. Meanwhile, Morocco’s economy remains reliant on an agricultural sector that has seen record production one year followed by devastating drought the next. Egypt’s economy is gradually improving, while Tunisia’s is still wrangling with the burden of high external debt. The region’s cement producers have had to respond rapidly to this changing landscape whether through new plant investments, new export markets or new commercial strategies.

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