Cement Totals— April 2011

Source: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va.

Total shipments of portland and blended cement in the United States and Puerto Rico were about 5.7 million mt in April 2011, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. This was 14.0 percent lower compared with shipments for April 2010. Total shipments for the year through April were approximately 18.3 million mt, about 2 percent lower than the same period in 2010.

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Arizona’s Drake Cement consummates Peruvian parent's U.S. entry

Sources: Drake Cement, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Cementos Lima, S.A., Peru; Staff reports

Officials of the Southwest’s newest integrated player held a mid-June grand opening for a $300 million, 600,000-plus tons/year capacity cement plant in northern Arizona. More than 10 years in the making, Drake Cement is located in Yavapai County, near the historic rail town of Paulden and 35 miles north of Prescott.

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Cemex to cut 2,800 jobs worldwide

Source: Reuters.com

Mexico-based construction materials giant Cemex is planning to cut 6% of its workforce worldwide as part of a wider reorganization. Reuters reported the world's third-largest cement maker said it hopes to generate $400 million in additional cash flow by the end of 2012 through cutting costs and improving underperforming businesses. The company employs about 46,500 people across the globe and is seeking cost savings of about $260 million this year.

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Cementos Argos becomes second major stakeholder in Class C ash formulator Ceratech

Sources: Ceratech Inc., Alexandria, Va.; Staff reports

Only three months after announcing that third-largest coal producer Alpha Natural Resources had acquired a 10.3 percent of its business (with an option to increase the stake to 28.3 under certain future terms), Ceratech has accepted another strategic equity investment from Colombian cement giant Cementos Argos, the fourth-largest U.S. concrete producer. The buy-in follows Argos' recent expansion of its U.S. presence through a $760 million purchase of Lafarge North America's Southeastern assets. The two companies will cooperate to develop and distribute Ceratech binder products through Argos’ Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Southwest markets.

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