ADDIS ABABA – At least 30 million quintals of cement will be imported during the current 2020/21 Ethiopian fiscal year, decides the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The decision came after illegal cement price increase in the market continues to challenge the country’s construction industry since the start of 2020.
To solve the problem, the ministry has been taking various measures including the authorization of only state enterprises to directly distribute cement from local factories to the open market on May 29, 2020.
This week, authorities say the government allows cement import in the current fiscal year to alleviate the shortage of cement.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Ministry said the decision to import upto 30 million quintals was prompted by the significant increase in the price of cement, which has become a basic commodity since December 2012.
A directive is also prepared in order to enable cement factories to produce at their full potential and to correct the market chain ranging from manufacturers and importers to the retailers, Wondimu Flate, Director of Communication Affairs at the Ministry, said in the statement
This is to prevent inflation and create a stable cement trading system, he added.
As per the Ministry, the cement importers must obtain construction materials, steel, non-ferrous and screed importers. The imported cement should be PPC and OPC42.5, it says.
The imported cement must be certified by a third party, he said, adding that an importer should import at least 3, 000 tons of cement.
The Ministry said importers should import cement within three months and start importing within 90 days.
Ethiopia’s cement capacity grew at an annual average rate of 6.8 percent between 2013 and 2018, according to data from Cement World Group. The country currently has the capacity to produce 17.1 million quintals of cement annually.