One information story to notice lately has been Cemex’s choice to recommission a kiln in Mexico to handle cement shortages within the southwest US. In early February 2021 the Mexico-based producer stated it was spending US$15m to restart a 1Mt/yr kiln at its CPN cement plant in Hermosillo, Sonora. The unit is over 250km from the US border however Cemex stated it was making the funding to deal with cement shortages and challenge delays in California, Arizona and Nevada. At current it provides over 3Mt/yr to California, Arizona, and Nevada from its built-in plant in Victorville, California and through sea-borne imports. Effectivity enhancements at Victorville and different unspecified provide chain modifications are additionally deliberate.
Cemex isn’t the one firm with an eye fixed on the south-west US. Across the similar time Japan-based Taiheiyo Cement concluded its cope with Semen Indonesia to purchase a 15% stake in its subsidiary Solusi Bangun Indonesia (SBI) for round US$220m. It’s a good distance from Arizona however the associated assertion talked about plans to make SBI’s built-in Tuban plant in East Java extra export centered, with the development of a brand new jetty and silos. It intends to export 0.5Mt/yr of cement to Taiheiyo Cement’s enterprise within the US. Its native subsidiary, CalPortland, runs two built-in crops in California and one in Arizona.
Chart 1: Annual change in US cement consumption by state, December 2019 – November 2020. Supply: PCA & USGS.
In its recent winter forecasts the Portland Cement Association (PCA) reported that the Mountain region of the US recorded the highest growth in cement consumption in 2020, at 10%, due to underlying economic fundamentals and favourable demographic trends. Knowledge from the USA Geological Survey (USGS) helps Cemex’s view too. Odd Portland Cement and blended cement shipments rose by 21% year-on-year to 2.74Mt in Arizona and New Mexico within the first 11 months of 2020 from 2.28Mt in the identical interval in 2019. This doesn’t fairly tally in California the place shipments fell barely, by 0.8%, to 9.42Mt. Nonetheless, it reported 12% development to 2.38Mt within the first quarter of 2020, suggesting that the market may return sharply as soon as the coronavirus epidemic is best below management. General, shipments within the US grew by 1.03% to 82.3Mt within the first 11 months of 2020, pushed by development in central areas. The PCA expects nationwide cement consumption to develop by about 1% in 2021 with a ‘sturdy’ restoration pushed by residential housing however slowed by unsure coronavirus vaccination provides and common market volatility.
In a world with an excessive amount of clinker manufacturing capability, it stands out to see two established producers so visibly chasing market share in a mature market. Quite than constructing new crops, each Cemex and Taiheiyo Cement are utilizing or reviving current manufacturing strains in different nations, and constructing import methods in addition to optimising their current amenities within the areas. With the western constructing materials multinationals now typically trying to concentrate on ‘secure’ markets in Europe or North America the struggle to develop market share in these areas is more likely to turn out to be extra intense. It additionally complicates choices about when or if an current plant must be mothballed or shut. In any case, Cemex’s previous manufacturing line in Hermosillo is about to turn out to be very helpful certainly.