Egypt's cement sector is relying more heavily on coal

Egypt's cement sector is relying more heavily on coal
22 January 2020

Egypt saw thermal coal imports rise by 31 per cent to 6.32Mt in 2019, according to official data from the port of Alexandria, driven by strong demand from the cement sector. Most coal was imported from the US.

The latest data confirm a two-year growth period in thermal coal imports. In 2018 they spiked by 174 per cent to 4.81Mt from 1.75Mt in 2017.

The country’s largest importer of thermal coal is Egypt’s largest cement producer, El Arish Cement, which imported 2.04Mt or 32 per cent of total thermal coal imports. When compared with the company’s thermal coal imports in 2018, it increased its share from 28 per cent. El Arish Cement represents around 17 per cent of Egypt’s cement capacity.

Over the past five years, Egypt’s cement industry has seen a widespread shift from more expensive heavy fuel oil to cheaper thermal coal and alternative fuels as the government decimated government fuel subsidies for heavy industries.

Going forward, it is likely that the requirement for cheaper fuel will see more competitively-priced coal enter the market. Several Mediterranean-based sources expect buyers to start looking at petcoke, particularly as US-based coal prices and freight rates are rising, according to S&P Global.

Published under Cement News

Tagged Under: Egypt coal USA