Turkish cement makers turn to exports as domestic market contracts

Turkey’s cement makers are increasing their exports as they attempt to make up for a slump in demand at home, Dünya newspaper reported.

Capacity usage in the industry, which was 53 percent last year, is expected to slide to about 38 percent in 2019, Dünya said.

Many construction projects in Turkey have ground to a halt, meaning cement producers are being forced to sell more products abroad to offset the shortfall, the newspaper said. Exports have increased by an annual 60 percent to $383 million in the first five months of the year, it said.

Turkey’s construction industry is in the middle of a slump after the lira lost nearly a third of its value against the dollar last year. Losses for the currency total about 9 percent in 2019. The weaker currency has forced up inflation and interest rates, leading to a slump in demand for mortgages and more expensive funding costs for builders.