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Cement news highlights: 7 – 11 July

World Cement,


Lafarge and Holcim have announced which assets they plan to divest in order to preempt potential competition issues with regulatory bodies. Holcim will divest certain assets in France, Hungary, Serbia, Canada, Mauritius, among others, and the countries in which Lafarge will make divestments include Austria, Germany and Romania. In the UK, Lafarge plans to divest Lafarge Tarmac’s assets, with the possible exception of one cement plant. In line with this, Anglo American, Lafarge’s partner in the joint venture, has reached an agreement in principle for the sale of its 50% ownership interest in Lafarge Tarmac. This agreement is subject to a number of conditions and has not yet been finalised.


  • USA: estimated construction spending in May reached US$956.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 6.6% y/y. Within this, estimated spending on nonresidential construction increased by 1.1% m/m and highway construction spending by 0.7% m/m.
  • Nicaragua: a route has been approved for the country’s Grand Canal. It will travel 278 km from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast. The project represents an investment of US$40 billion.
  • Romania: the volume of construction work (in gross series) rose by 17.4% m/m, but decreased by 1.3% m/m in adjusted series.
  • Finland: the construction sector’s turnover fell by 1.5% y/y in 4Q13.
  • UK: construction industry output grew by 3.5% y/y in May 2014, but declined by 1.1% m/m.


Sigrid de Vries has been announced as the new Secretary General for the Committee for the European construction equipment industry (CECE). He succeeds Ralf Wezel, who has moved on to the VDMA following 12 years in the role.

Elsewhere, Siemens Drive Technologies Division has appointed Dirk Hoke as CEO of the Large Drives Business Unit, and Shri M. S. Mehta has taken up the position of CEO at India’s Reliance Infrastructure Limited, part of the Reliance Group.

This week’s not to be missed articles…

After providing an overview of the cement markets in Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, Paul Maxwell-Cook provides an insight into the industry in Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America. These articles are abridged extracts from World Cement’s July issue, which subscribers can now access by logging in.

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