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Cement newsbytes: Canada and the US

World Cement,

Great Lakes

According to the Lake Carriers’ Association, US-flag lakers transported more than 345 900 t of cement in May 2014. This represents a y/y decline as approximately 380 000 t of cement cargo was shipped in May 2013.

Limestone shipments fell by 7.8% y/y to 2.6 million t in May but coal shipments grew by 4.3% y/y to 1.9 million t. Within this, coal loadings increased by 41.7% at Lake Erie ports, although shipments of coal dropped by 50% on Lake Michigan.

Total shipments in May fell to around 9.6 million t as a result of three US-flag lakers being out of service for repairs to damage caused by heavy ice earlier in the year.

Between January and May 2014, total shipments came in at under 16.6 million t, down from 22. 6 million t of cargo in the corresponding period in 2013. In the first five months of this year, shipments of cement and limestone were reported at 633 760 t and 3.47 million t, respectively.

Canadian cement sector: facts and figures

The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) has released an update on the contribution of its eight member companies to the local economy in 2012. These groups run 16 cement plants across five provinces, which manufacture some 98% of the cement consumed in the country. In 2012, the CAC’s members produced more than 13 million t with a total value of $1.6 billion. Of this, 3.4 million t was exported, mostly to the US. Approximately 27 000 people are employed by the construction materials industry in Canada, which provides 28.1 million m3 of concrete for construction projects in the country.


Earlier this week, Lafarge and Holcim announced which assets they plan to divest to preempt issues with regulatory bodies in relation to their proposed merger. The companies intend to divest Holcim’s assets in Canada, which include the Joliette cement plant in Quebec and the Mississauga plant in Ontario. Lafarge operates cement plants in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. When speaking to the Montreal Gazette, Cement industry professionals have said that it was ‘business as usual’ for the sector and that they did not foresee the news having an impact on demand, employment or production levels in the short-term. Ottawa’s Competition Bureau has confirmed to the paper that it will review the LafargeHolcim merger plans.

Edited from various sources by

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