View Full Version : Cheap imports may ‘destroy’ Iraq’s cement industry

02-22-2013, 01:56 AM
By Khayoun Saleh
Azzaman, February 21, 2013
The State Company for Cement Industries says cheap and low-quality imports of cement are making it hard for it to sell its products.
The company’s director-general, Nasser Idris, warned that the industry might collapse without immediate state support.
Idris did not say where the cement was imported from, but added that the imports were much cheaper than locally produced cement and of a lower quality.
The current flurry of construction in Iraq, in the wake of the relative quiet it has been enjoying recently, has increased demand for construction materials, mainly cement.
Idris blamed the government for the industry’s woes, saying the authorities have imposed thousands of employees on his company at a time they were not needed.’

He said most of the government-imposed workers had practically nothing to do. They are employed mainly for “political reasons,” he said.
Iraq’s cement consumption is estimated at nearly 18 million tons a year, but its 21 cement plants could only produce 12 million tons in 2012.
The cement production capacity of the 19 cement plants is estimated at 25 million tons.
Iraq planned to become a net exporter of cement.
But Idris said his company, which runs the plants, will in no way be able to meet domestic demand or compete with cheap imports.
He said there were also problems of over-staffing, long interruptions due to power shortages and skyrocketing fuel prices.