AzinTrade Explores the Dynamics of UAE Cement Industry Ahead of Expo 2020


As Expo 2020 approaches, the UAE cement industry is poised for significant developments, underscored by strategic agreements and expansions among key players. The recent collaboration between Al Ain Cement Factory and National Cement Factory reflects a growing trend towards consolidation and capacity enhancement within the sector. These initiatives are pivotal as the country gears up to host Expo 2020, a monumental event set to catalyze economic growth and infrastructure investments.
The Dubai government’s forecast highlights Expo 2020’s potential economic impact, projecting a contribution of over AED 122.6 billion to the UAE economy by 2031. This projection includes the creation of approximately 100,000 new jobs and substantial investments in infrastructure and construction. For UAE cement producers, this presents a lucrative opportunity to capitalize on increased demand and bolster production capacities.
According to industry insights, cement prices have remained stable in recent months, signaling a favorable market condition attributed to enhanced local production capacities. Currently, the average price for a 50kg bag stands at approximately AED 12.20, reflecting a period of stability amidst increased supply capabilities.
Despite these advancements, challenges persist within the UAE mortar sector. Many companies have had to navigate through periods of underutilized capacities and intense market competition, prompting strategic realignments and operational adjustments. Arkan Group, for instance, recently undertook restructuring efforts following stagnant business results, including the sale of its Emirates cement plant to optimize operations at its Al Ain facility.
Furthermore, the influx of Indian cement producers into the UAE market has reshaped competitive dynamics. Notably, Shree Cement’s acquisition of Union Cement Co. in 2018 for US$305.24 million marked a significant entry into the local market, bolstering its presence with a substantial integrated plant in Ras Al Khaimah. Similarly, JSW Cement’s forthcoming greenfield clinker plant in Fujairah, slated for completion in late 2019 at a cost of US$150 million, underscores India’s growing influence in the region.
Looking beyond Expo 2020, the UAE cement sector anticipates sustained growth driven by demographic trends and ongoing urban development projects. Projections indicate a nearly doubled population in Dubai by 2030, coupled with extensive redevelopment plans for the Expo 2020 site post-event transformation into a Free Trade Zone. Moreover, plans are in place to construct 120,000 new homes by 2020, further stimulating demand for construction materials including cement.
Despite these growth prospects, structural challenges such as prolonged overcapacity and low utilization rates continue to pose hurdles for industry incumbents. LafargeHolcim and Cemex, prominent global players in the cement market, have been exploring divestment options amidst tough market conditions, indicating ongoing adjustments within the competitive landscape.
In conclusion, as AzinTrade navigates the evolving dynamics of the UAE cement industry, it remains committed to providing tailored solutions and high-quality cement products to meet the diverse needs of its clientele. With a keen focus on leveraging strategic partnerships and industry insights, AzinTrade is well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunities presented by Expo 2020 and beyond, contributing to the sustainable growth and development of the UAE’s construction sector.