In 2021, the amount of cement sold increased to 19.2 million tonnes. Demand and rising production costs will translate into higher raw material prices. A difficult year is ahead for the industry, because it has to deal with cheap imports, but sales are expected to continue to rise.
Prof. Jan Deja, Director of the Office of the Cement Producers Association, informed PAP that the industry sold approximately 19.2 million tonnes of cement in 2021. It’s 2 percent. increase compared to 2020 “This is a good result. At the beginning of 2021, we forecasted sales at the level of 18.7 million tonnes” – assessed Jan Deja. The forecasts for 2022, according to the SPC representative, are even more optimistic. “We expect that the demand for cement will increase to 19.6 – 19.8 million tonnes” – Jan Deja told PAP.
In his opinion, the good results of cement sales in 2021 are due to a large increase in the construction of apartments, dynamic development of individual construction, but not only. According to SPC, the sale of cement was also influenced by road construction, railway investments and the construction of warehouse centers. These factors should also affect the cement market in 2022. Jan Deja does not want to assess how cement prices will develop. “This is the pricing policy of individual cement plants. We must remember that the industry is struggling with the high costs of purchasing CO2 emission allowances, despite the fact that it managed to reduce the emission of this gas by 30% and currently it accounts for 2% of the total CO2 emission in Poland” – stated the director of the SPC office.
“We are paying more and more for CO2 emission allowances. National cement plants emit about 12 million tons of CO2 annually. Free allowances cover 8.6 million tons of this emission. We have to buy the remaining CO2 emission allowances. Meanwhile, they cost as much as EUR 85 – 90 per ton. This must translate into a significant increase in production costs “- noted Deja. The situation is similar with the rapidly increasing electricity prices. “The expenses for its purchase constitute 30 to 35 percent of the production costs of the cement industry” – added the director of the SPC office. The industry is alarming that it is not covered by compensation for rising energy prices. “We are not on the list of eligible sectors, unlike other energy-intensive sectors.” We appeal to the government to change this situation – emphasized Jan Deja. It is not only the rising costs of purchasing CO2 emission allowances and rising energy prices that pose a threat to cement plants. The industry is also struggling with the growing import of cement from Belarus.
“In the last 5 years, it has increased from 119 thousand tons to 600 thousand tons now. Only after 10 months of 2021 it amounted to 475 thousand tons and was 26% higher than in the similar period of 2020,” emphasized Jan Deja The SPC believes that restricting the import of cement from Belarus would be a severe sanction that our government or the European Commission could impose on the Belarusian economy. “As an industry, we addressed this matter to the European Parliament and the European Commission. Belarusian cement plants are state-owned companies. They can sell cement cheaper, because they are not covered, for example, by the CO2 emission allowance trading system “- he noted. The problem is already serious for the whole of Europe, as cement is entering the European Union market more and more boldly not only from Belarus, but also from Turkey and North Africa .
Currently, there are 9 cement producing companies in Poland. They are in the hands of foreign investors. It is min. Lafarge, Dyckerhoff, Cemex, HeidelbergCement, CRH.
author: Anna Bytniewska