Nesher Cement considering Haifa closure

Nesher Cement considering Haifa closure
03 May 2019

Israeli cement producer is looking at closing its Haifa plant and moving jobs to Turkey, according to Globes.

Last year the company dismissed 40 employees and is reportedly considering further lay-offs and reductions in its activity through Israel, including shutting down its Haifa works.

The company’s profit declined sharply last year. In addition, the domestic cement industry is expected to continue to be challenged by large-scale cheap cement imports from Turkey.

Imported cement accounts for 40 per cent of all sales in the Israeli market, at the expense of domestic producers Nesher and Hartuv Cement.

"The cutbacks at Nesher are necessary, and are being evaluated with the utmost seriousness. They will include closing down its plant in the north and dozens of additional layoffs, as well as lowering prices to enable the company to survive in the face of cheap cement imports from Turkey. At this level of prices, Nesher will be affected in the long term, with Turkey constantly breathing down its neck," a senior cement sector source added.

While Nesher had an unchallenged monopoly in the cement market for many years, its market share has fallen to less than 60 per cent.

Most of the imports are carried out by Israel Shipyards subsidiary Ciment, who had argued that its imports had lowered the price of construction inputs. However, following an 18-month investigation into alleged dumping practices by Danny Tal, the country’s competition commissioner, ruled that the complaint, made by Hartuv, was justified. As cement produced in Turkey and Greece was being sold at dumping prices, Mr Tal recommended imposing anti-dumping customs duties of 7-22 per cent on these cement imports. However, Minister of Economy and Industry, Eli Cohen, rejected the recommendation and set customs duties on imported cement at 0.25 per cent for 30 months. When imports reach a market share of 50 per cent, an increase in import duties will be considered again.

Published under Cement News