Bonanza year for local cement exports

Vietnam exported 13 million tonnes of cement and clinker by mid-December, a 65 per cent jump against the same period last year, with nearly 1.1 million tonnes per month sold abroad, according to Ministry of Construction estimates.

Firms have exported cement to make up for slack domestic demandPhoto: Le Toan

Firms have exported cement to make up for slack domestic demandPhoto: Le Toan

At the current pace, Vietnam’s cement exports this year are expected to reach a record 14 million tonnes, far exceeding the set target of 10.2 million tonnes.

Thang Long Cement, based in the northern province of Quang Ninh, shipped 30,000 tonnes of bulk cement to Peru, increasing the company’s total cement export volume this year to nearly 800,000 tonnes.

Thang Long Cement’s CEO Johan Samudra said this year had proved fruitful in terms of exports and expressed confidence the company would grasp more opportunities to increase co-operation with other local and foreign partners to bolster sales.

Learning some hard lessons from 2012’s poor export results, state cement conglomerate Vicem bolstered its efforts. By the end of November Vicem’s export volume had surpassed two million tonnes (including 1.1 tonnes of clinker and around 900,000 tonnes of cement) up massively on the one million tonnes recorded in 2012.

“With stable growth seen in recent months, we will surely reach our target of 2.2 million tonnes this year,” said a Vicem source.

According to Cam Pha Cement’s general director Hoang Xuan Vinh, the company retained stable market share in key export markets such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. It estimated its export volume at about 850,000 tonnes this year.

Head of the Ministry of Construction’s Building Materials Department Le Van Toi said difficulties in the domestic market had seen cement firms dedicating themselves to finding markets for their products.

Southeast Asia and the Middle East remained key export markets for Vietnamese cement.

Earlier in the year, off the back of a poor performance in 2012, the sector had set a modest target of around 56-57 million tonnes in total sales for 2013 in Vietnam. Exports have exceeded expectations, having a positive impact on the cement sector’s total consumption this year, which was expected to exceed 60 million tonnes. Domestic sales surged approximately 10 per cent against 2012.

By Hai Yen