Export volume of cement from China 2009-2018

China was seen to have lowered its cement exports amid the environmental pollution problems for developing cement plants. In 2018, the export volume of cement and cement clinkers reached the lowest point of 9.04 million metric tons. This marked a reduction in exports to half of what it was just two years ago. In terms of net weight, Thailand, Turkey, and Spain were the leading cement export countries in 2018.

The rise and fall

The cement industry was much smaller before the economic reformation in China. In the 1980s, several state-owned cement producers were established to integrate cement plants and boost production. The People’s Republic gradually became the biggest cement producer in the world, contributing over two billion metric tons of annual production since 2011. However, in 2013 the government announced plans to ban the cement capacity expansion amid growing public concerns of air pollution and electricity shortages. Since then, a series of cement plants were closed, turning China into a cement importing nation by the end of 2017, compared to its previous position as a global leader in the industry.

A new phase

Despite these restrictions on capacity expansion, China still managed to be the third-largest cement exporter to the U.S., and the fifth largest in the world in 2018. Today, the Chinese cement sector seems to be better positioned to face the industrial changes compared to two years back. In fact, in 2018, the cement manufacturer Anhui Conch recorded over 70 percent annual growth in revenue, reaching almost 130 billion yuan. That same year, another market leader- China National Building Material (CNBM) reported cement and clinker sales of almost 370 million tons. Furthermore, experts estimate that the Belt and Road Initiative which focuses on infrastructure development in 152 countries would also help the industrial overcapacity issues in China.

Export volume of cement and cement clinkers from China between 2009 and 2018

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Release date

October 2019



Survey time period

2009 to 2018

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