Global Cement Market Overview: Top Import And Export Countries

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Cement is a fine powder commonly used as a binder in construction. When the substance is mixed with water, gravel, and sand, concrete is formed. Cement mixed with fine aggregate produces mortar for masonry, or sand and gravel, produce concrete.

Before we fully delve into the topic, lets list out the top cement importing and exporting countries.

Top cement producing countries are:

  • China
  • India
  • The United States
  • Iran

The top cement importing countries are:

  • China
  • United States
  • Philippines
  • France
  • Netherlands

Top cement exporting countries are:

  • Vietnam
  • Turkey
  • Thailand
  • Germany
  • Canada


Global Cement Market Overview: Top Import And Export Countries

Numerous other materials, such as shale, clay, slate, chalk, silica sand, iron ore, and blast furnace slag, are heated at high temperatures to form a rock-like substance that is grounded into fine powder to form cement. Characterized by a grey color, it is mixed with water to form a hard mass that is used as an adhesive for masonry. Depending upon its ability to set in the presence of water, cement is largely bifurcated into two kinds – hydraulic and non-hydraulic. While hydraulic cement sets due to the chemical reaction between water and the dry ingredients, non-hydraulic cement offers optimal resistance against chemicals by reacting with the carbon dioxide in the environment.

Applications of cement:

Cement may be used alone, but the normal use is in mortar and concrete in which the cement is mixed with inert material known as aggregate. Mortar is cement mixed with sand or crushed stone that must be less than approximately 5 mm in size. Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, or another fine aggregate, and a coarse aggregate that for most purposes is up to 19 to 25 mm in size, but the coarse aggregate may also be as large as 150 mm when concrete is placed in large masses such as dams. Mortars are used for binding bricks, blocks, and stone in walls or as surface renderings. Concrete is used for a large variety of construction purposes. Mixtures of soil and portland cement are used as a base for roads. Portland cement also is used in the manufacture of bricks, tiles, shingles, pipes, beams, railroad ties, and various extruded products. The products are prefabricated in factories and supplied ready for installation.

The global cement market reached a volume of 4.91 Billion Tons in 2020. The cement market is primarily driven by a significant rise in construction activities across the globe. Owing to rapid population expansion, there has been a substantial rise in the need for residential spaces, which has facilitated the construction of housing complexes. The development of mega infrastructure projects around the world, especially in emerging economies, is acting as another major growth-inducing factor. For instance, prominent infrastructural projects, such as the construction of Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai and the South-North Water Transfer Project in China, are expected to significantly bolster the sales of cement. In line with this, governments of various countries across the globe are investing heavily to enhance the existing infrastructure, which is projected to further contribute to the market growth.

Growing environmental concerns, coupled with technological advancements in the production process, are also driving the market toward growth. For instance, the inclusion of thermal energy in the manufacturing of cement ensures a low carbon footprint, owing to which it is being widely adopted by the manufacturers. Additionally, an enhanced focus on sustainable development has resulted in shifting preference toward green construction. Escalating demand for green buildings has led to an increase in the sales of sustainable and green cement as it minimizes emissions generated during their production.

The increasing purchasing power of the consumers and industrialization are some of the other factors that are expected to create a positive outlook for the market. Looking forward, the global cement market is expected to exhibit moderate growth during the forecast period of 2021 to 2026.


Top cement producers in the world:

China produces the most cement globally by a large margin, at an estimated 2.2 billion metric tons in 2020, followed by India at 340 million metric tons in the same year. China currently produces over half of the world’s cement. Global cement production is expected to increase from 3.27 billion metric tons in 2010 to 4.83 billion metric tons in 2030.

China: In 2014, China produced 2,500 million metric tons of cement. The nation has the world’s largest cement industry. China is urbanizing at a rapid rate characterized by the growth of small and large cities and metropolises. More and more people in China are moving from rural areas into cities every year and the government has invested in infrastructure from roads, railways, and buildings. The majority of residents in China live in structures made from cement unlike some countries like the US where many houses are built of wood. Most of the country’s cement companies are owned by the state and therefore access cheap capital and government support. These factors have boosted over-production. The cement industry in China has been praised and criticized in equal measure. While improved infrastructure has expanded the Chinese economy, large-scale cement manufacturing has also contributed to massive environmental pollution.

India: India’s cement industry produced 280 million metric tons in 2014. Cement production in the country records a 5 to 6 percent growth annually. The top players in the nation’s cement sector are Ultratech Cement which commands 22 percent of the domestic market followed by ACC and Ambuja with an estimated 15 percent and 13 percent market share respectively. Residential real estate construction is the biggest consumer of cement in India. Infrastructure and commercial real-estate construction in addition to industrial development are other cement users in the country.

The United States: The US is home to the third-largest cement industry in the world. In 2014, 83 million metric tons of cement were produced in the nation. 34 American states have cement manufacturing plants. The states of Texas, Missouri, Alabama, California, and Florida produced nearly half of the total cement manufacturers in the US in 2013. The US also has two plants located in Puerto Rico. In 2015, 10 percent of the cement consumed in the nation was imported with the bulk coming from Greece and Canada. Portland cement in the US is produced by leading companies such as CEMEX, Lehigh Hanson Inc., Texas Industries Inc, and LafargeHolcim.

Iran: The total cement produced in Iran in 2014 amounted to 75 million metric tons. The country has increased its capacity to become the largest cement producer in the Middle East. Iran is a major cement exporter destined for countries such as Iraq, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. In 2015, the country had 71 cement plants which together have a capacity of 80.6 million tons/year. The leading cement companies such as Fars and Khuzestan Cement Company and Ghadir Investment Company are backed by the government.


Global cement consumption:

The rise in demand is largely accounted for by the expansion of the Chinese cement market in 2019, which reached an estimated 2.28 billion metric tons, up 4.9 percent from the year before, and representing 56 percent of global consumption. Excluding China, world cement consumption is estimated to have remained flat at 1.81 billion metric tons, rising by just 0.3 percent, year on year.

Growth in the world’s second-largest market, India, was weaker than expected at three percent in 2019, but this reflected a strong base of comparison from the previous year when annual growth exceeded 15 percent.

In the US, demand is estimated to have expanded by 2.1 percent in 2019, pushing overall consumption back over the 100Mt mark for the first time since 2007, which marked the starting point of the market’s collapse during the Great Recession.

By region, the highest growth rates in terms of consumption were recorded in sub-Saharan Africa at 5 to 6 percent, although the combined region represents just 101 Metric Tons of cement consumption which is equal to the entire US. On a per-capita basis, sub-Saharan African countries have some of the lowest consumption levels worldwide. As a region, per capita cement consumption is just 91 kilograms, compared to the global average of 521 kilograms, reflecting both the huge potential of the region in the future, but also the low level of development at present.

Top cement importing countries:

Total international purchases of imported cement were valued at 11.2 billion dollars for 2020.

Overall, the value of globally imported cement declined by an average of minus 5.6 percent for all importing countries since 2016 when international purchases of cement were valued at 11.8 billion dollars. Year over year, cement imports fell by 12.9 percent.

The 5 biggest importers of cement by value in 2020 were China, the United States, the Philippines, France, and the Netherlands. Collectively, those buyers represent 37.3 percent of cement bought on international markets.

From a continental perspective, buyers in Asian countries spent the most on imported cement in 2020 with purchases costing 4.3 billion dollars or 38.9 percent of the global total. In second place were European importers at 25 percent while 14.1 percent of cement imported worldwide was delivered to North America ahead of the 13.3 percent worth sent to African customers.

Smaller percentages went to Latin America which accounted for 6.7 percent excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania got 2 percent led by Australia.


Top cement exporting countries:

Global sales from cement exports from all countries amounted to 10.8 billion dollars in 2020. An essential construction material, cement is typically sold in the form of grey or white powder or clinker lumps and modules fused together with limestone and alumino silicates like clay.

Overall, the value of cement exports rose by an average of 9.8 for all exporting countries since 2016 when cement shipments were percent valued at 9.8 billion dollars. From 2019 to 2020, exported cement sales dropped by minus 6.9 percent.

The 5 biggest cement exporters are Vietnam, Turkey, Thailand, Germany, and Canada these 5 countries accounted for almost four-tenths or 38.2 percent of worldwide shipments of cement during 2020.

By category, Portland cement accounts for about three-fifths or 60.9 percent of exported global cement supplies. That metric should come as no surprise given that Portland is the cement type used for making concrete, mortar, stucco, and grout. Cement clinkers represented almost a third or 32.6 percent while miscellaneous hydraulic cement and aluminous cement came in at 4.8 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.

From a continental perspective, Asian countries sold the most exported cement during 2020 with shipments valued at 5.7 billion dollars or 52.5 percent of global cement exports. In second place were European exporters at 29.2 percent while 8.5 percent of worldwide cement shipments originated from Africa. Another 7.5 percent worth was shipped from North America.

Smaller percentages came from Latin America valued at 2.2 percent excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania got 0.1 percent led by New Zealand and Australia.




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Cement is a fine powder commonly used as a binder in construction. Portland cement accounts for about three-fifths or 60.9 percent of exported global cement supplies. The global cement market reached a volume of 4.91 billion tons in 2020. China has the world’s largest cement industry.



cement exporting countries
top cement exporting countries


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