In many countries that produce cement, there are severe bottlenecks in the supply of this material due to demand fluctuations and lack of capital for the build-up of supplies, or inputs. In cement-producing countries, cement is often regarded as a local product even when 60 percent of the production cost is due to imported energy.
Many governments have played an active role in order to meet the demand for cement. In countries where cement is not produced, governments have either controlled the price or provided import tax relief on imported cement. This has often curtailed competition, distorted the market and impacted negatively on local production.