Tales of globalization—-cement

Cement is one of those cycli­cal-demand prod­ucts that typ­i­cal­ly fig­ure in a rash of anti-dump­ing cas­es around the world every few years. As a busi­ness cycle starts to tip down towards its trough, cement mak­ers ‘dump’—that is sell at prices designed to cov­er fixed costs, well below long-run aver­age costs—in order to stay in busi­ness. In almost every econ­o­my, at some point in the cycle, installed “cal­ci­na­tion”:http://www.energysolutionscenter.org/TechProDemo/Business_Sector/Industrial/Cement_Manufacturing.htm capac­i­ty is going beg­ging. But there’s anoth­er side to the sto­ry, too: bq. “The Chi­nese are build­ing dams and roads and Olympic venues, so they are using more cement than they make.” The extra demand is dri­ving up the prices for the rest of the world, he says, so “here in Colum­bus, Ohio, a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of that is com­ing out of our pock­ets.” (“CSM”:http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0817/p03s02-usec.html)

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