When the going gets tough

Published 06 February 2019

The north African cement sector is facing a challenging time as declining demand has put into perspective the current overcapacity in the industry. With most of the region affected, export options are limited. Higher energy costs have also brought further challenges in some countries. By Kais Kriaa and Fatma Charfi, Alpha Mena, Tunisia.

With production capacity tipped to reach 30Mta in 2019, Algeria’s cement industry has been transformed

and has now become a net exporter of cement. Pictured: LafargeHolcim’s 2.7Mta CILAS plant in Biskra

Annual cement demand has expanded at a healthy rate in north Africa over the last decade, but more recent times have seen consumption in the region stagnate and contract, falling by two per cent YoY in 2018. Demand is expected to stabilise this year with a modest growth of two per cent forecast in 2020.
Although the region’s industry faces the prospect of limited demand growth, while facing the challenge of overcapacity, it has proven to be extremely resilient in difficult times.

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