A tough time for China

Published 01 July 2024

The world’s largest cement-producing country and market has seen demand fall significantly while issues of overcapacity persist. While the sector aims to reduce oversupply, it also needs reform to meet the country’s net-zero carbon emissions targets. By Fei (Grace) Chen, China Cement Association, China.

China’s overcapacity presents significant challenges in times when cement demand contracts (©jcx516)

In 2023 China’s cement industry encountered considerable challenges as adjustments in the real estate sector led to a five per cent drop in the country’s cement demand. Moreover, intensified market competition, high fuel and raw material costs, and higher investment requirements in terms of environmental protection and energy consumption resulted in a tough year for domestic cement companies. The industry’s profits totalled ~CNY32bn (US$4423m), dropping 50 per cent compared to the previous year and marking the lowest level in 16 years.

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