Lebanese cement sector to see solid future despite decline

Regional instability and eurozone economic woes hamper demand for Lebanese cement

Lebanon’s biggest cement producer, Cemmenterie National has said it remains upbeat about the future of the sector despite a decline in local demand and exports.

Demand for Lebanese cement has been falling on both local and international markets, due to regional instability and eurozone economic woes, Pierre Doumet, the chief executive of Cemmenterie National, told The Daily Star, an English language daily newspaper.

Exports have fallen drastically in 2012, with Spain and Portugal halting cement imports from Lebanon, while deliveries to Syria have become much harder to make and more expensive,Doumet noted.

“Instead of the hundreds of thousands of tonnes we usually export to Syria every year, we will export less than 100,000 tonnes this year,” he said.

This has pressured cement prices which are expected to drop by as much as 20%, compared with last year. However, despite the slowdown, the Lebanese cement sector retains major strengths, Doumet said.

“Lebanon enjoys very clean limestone deposits, the key natural resource for our industry. We are also very well-suited on the Mediterranean for export and import activities,” he said.


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