Top 5 Cement Producing Countries in the World

16 Nov 2018 • by Natalie Aster
Top 5 Cement Producing Countries in the World

LONDON – Nowadays, cement is one of the most widely used and produced construction materials all over the globe owing to its low price and abundant availability of its main raw ingredients in nature. In 2017, the world’s total demand for cement was estimated at some 4.13 billion metric tons. It is expected to continue rising at a modest pace and in 2019 is slate to total appr. 5.2 billion metric tons.

Presently, the residential segment grabs the largest share (nearly 60%) of the overall cement consumption, this is attributed to the increasing population density in cities especially in the developing regions along with the mounting need for accommodation and growing purchasing power of urban residents. The robust upturn in urbanisation globally is poised to fuel the demand for residential construction in the coming years, which in its turn will boost the demand for cement. Other key cement-consuming segments include non-residential and infrastructure.

Geographically, APAC is the dominant consumer of cement due to the substantial contribution of the developing economies of such countries in the region as China, India, and some others. With the rapidly increasing number of businesses as well as residential installations in the APAC’s emerging countries, this region is projected to stay at the forefront of the world’s cement consumption in the years ahead. Besides, North America and Europe are also anticipated to add remarkably to the demand for cement in the offing.

The world’s cement market has followed an upward trend during recent years, with the market value rising from slightly over USD 237.14 billion in 2011 to go beyond USD 394.5 billion in 2016. In the foreseeable future, the global cement market is likely to continue enjoying healthy growth at a CAGR of nearly 6-8%. By 2025, the market value may cross USD 682 billion.

Globally, more than 4.12 billion metric tons of cement were produced in 2017. APAC is the top cement-producing region. China alone produces more cement than all other producing countries together.

Output volume of 5 dominant cement-producing countries during 2015-2017 (in million metric tons)

Output volume of 5 dominant cement-producing countries during 2015-2017 (in million metric tons)

1.    CHINA

China tops the list of the global major cement producers with a share of about 58% of the world’s total output volume. In 2017, China’s cement production exhibited a slight decline and totaled nearly 2.4 billion metric tons.

China is urbanising at a swift pace with the robust growth of large and small cities along with metropolises. An increasing number of Chinese is moving from rural settlements to cities every year, and the country’s government makes significant investments in the construction of infrastructure as well as residential and commercial buildings. This has considerably spurred the national cement industry. The majority of the Chinese cement companies are state-owned and, therefore, gain cheap and government support. These factors have encouraged over-production. China’s cement industry has been praised and criticised at the same time: whilst the improved infrastructure has boosted the country’s economy, mass cement production has resulted in considerable environmental pollution.  

2.    INDIA 

India ranks second in the world in terms of cement output, accounting for almost 6.8% of the global production volume. In 2017, India’s cement production volume reached about 280 million metric tons.

Residential real estate construction is the major consumer of cement in India. Besides, commercial real estate and infrastructure construction are also heavy cement users in the country. The leading player in the Indian cement market is the domestic company Ultratech Cement grabbing a 22% share of the national market. It is followed by locally-branded subsidiaries of multinationals namely – ACC and Ambuja with chunks of 15% and 13% respectively.

3.    The US

The US boasts the third biggest cement industry globally with manufacturing plants across 34 states. 5 states (Missouri, Alabama, Florida, Texas, and California) produce around half of the country’s total output volume. In 2017, the US cement production volume reached appr. 86.3 million metric tons. The US cement market is led by multinational manufacturers such as HeidelbergCement, LafargeHolcim, Cemex, Buzzi Unicem, and CRH, although some of them operate via US-branded legacy names, for instance, Essroc (HeidelbergCement).

4.    VIETNAM

Vietnam holds the fourth place in the world in terms of cement production with the output volume of 78 million metric tons in 2017. Almost all producing companies active in Vietnam’s cement market are controlled or owned (indirectly or directly) by the government.

To remove the surplus of cement production in the country, Vietnam has considerably increased its cement exports during the recent years and has emerged as one of the leading cement exporters on the global arena.

5.    TURKEY

Turkey comes in fifth place on the list of the top global cement producers. In 2017, Turkey’s cement production totaled some 77 million metric tons. On the back of the anti-monopoly laws adopted in Turkey, the cement industry in the country is represented by an unusually high number of players. The majority of cement manufacturers are Turkish, although some multinational companies (e.g. Votorantim, LafargeHolcim, and HeidelbergCement) are active in the country’s cement market.

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