In 2011, international trade was 152 million tonnes and just 4.3% of the global cement output. Iraq, USA, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Netherland were the major importers. The major exporting countries of cement were Turkey, Pakistan, China, Iran, Germany, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan,. (Source: Cembureau) Cement is a commodity which is freely traded and there are no restrictions on its trade in most of the key trading countries.

After the total decontrol of Cement, the Indian Cement Industry has gradually developed good export market for Cement/Clinker due to its competitiveness and tendency to grow for achieving a technologically sound. Export by the Cement Industry which was just 0.15 Mn.t. of cement during 1989-90, crossed the level of 10 Mn.t. during 2004-05. From 2005-06 the declining trend of cement/clinker export started due to global financial crisis, creation of capacities in emerging markets and infrastructural bottlenecks.

Quality of cement from the Indian cement industry, with state-of-the-art technology, matches with the World’s best. The industry is capable of producing cement to the specified standards of any importing country. The Indian cement has made its strong presence in various countries across the globe and during the last two decades it has extended its availability to over 35 countries. Some cement plants have launched jetties in order to promote significant quantity by export of cement and clinker.

Despite the fact that the quality and technology of Indian cement is world-class and the Industry is having an excess cement capacity of about 100 Mn.t., exports of cement and clinker have been waning continuously mainly because of high level of State levies and royalties for which there is no Cenvat Credit, infrastructure constraints; high transportation cost from plants to border points/ports; in addition to Government’s encouragement for import of cement with no custom duty, thus distorting a level playing field between domestic and imported cement.

With a view to making Indian Cement/Clinker competitive in the Global Market, CMA has been making following submissions to the Govt., from time to time:

Royalty paid on limestone should be neutralized for export of cement. This is in sync with the approach that domestic taxes are not exported.

Duty Drawback should be enhanced to 3% (i.e. erstwhile DEPB rates) to sustain exports.

There is no Custom Duty for import of Cement into the country. This anomaly needs to be removed to offer a level playing field to domestic production vis-à-vis impo

For the purpose of exports, classification of cement and clinker for Rail freight be reduced from 150 as of today to 140.

Investments made for decongesting the National ports by developing private jetties/ports for export of cement and clinker be allowed a higher rate of depreciation.