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Per an IMF analysis from late last month, Morocco’s economic outlook will improve in 2010, while still “remain[ing] dependent on external developments” such as potential Euro-zone growth–Morocco’s principal trading partner.  The country’s GDP, which was rising at about a 5% clip pre-crisis, should grow by roughly 4% next year on the back of internal demand, and specifically in agriculture, the largest component of the domestic workforce.  Moreover, exports should be boosted by the phosphate rock mining and processing industry, which accounts for almost one-third of the nation’s exports and whose YOY exports dived by over one-half over the first half of 2009.  On that front, earlier this week, Bohdan Danylyshyn, head of the Ukrainian Economy Ministry, suggested a partnership of sorts between the two, stating that his country was “interested in geological exploration, the modernization of equipment for phosphate deposit development, and importing phosphates from Morocco,” while also noting that “Ukrainian companies would like to participate in the reconstruction of various types of industrial facilities on the territory of Morocco.”

Morocco is the third-biggest phosphate producer in the world after China and the U.S., with 28 million tons of output a year.  It is the largest phosphate exporter, with a 31.6% market share.  And although production is controlled by a state-owned OCP–which earlier this year announced that it expected to increase its phosphate output to 45-55 million tons by 2020 on the back of its planned investment–the industry’s growth for Morocco may in practice translate over to other domestic industries, where demand is driven by domestic wealth measures such as property and construction that are themselves a function of the health of domestic exports.  The demand for cement is expected to grow going forward on the back of a young demographic, state-backed social housing projects and a resumption in commercial real estate projects.

Ameriyah Cement, an Alexandria-based firm that manufactures and markets cement products, announced this past weekend a 50% in consolidated net profits and a 43% increase in standalone profits for the three-month period ending March 31, 2009 compared with the previous financial year.

Per Emerginvest, “for over 65 years, East African Portland Cement (Nairobi Stock Exchange: PORT) has been Kenya’s leading Cement Manufacturer. By providing the lifeblood of the national construction industry, they have played a central role in the building of Kenya. East African Portland Products have built the foundations of housing, education, health, tourism, transport and communication, and hydro-electric power projects throughout Kenya.”

Now onto the good news, per The Daily Nation:

East Africa Portland Cement Company is now eying the export market after it doubled its production from January 2008. Managing director Eng. John Nyambok said that although the construction sector was expected to slow down due to reduced remittances from abroad, increased use of cement in road building would cushion the company from reduced sales. It is expected there will be a blip in the construction sector, but the small loss will be covered by increased use of cement in road construction, he said.

Specifically, according to Nyambok, the expansion of Thika road, and the construction of the Wajir and Kisumu airports, are among projects that are expected to increase the demand for cement in Kenya during the coming year. Nyambok also said that similar infrastructure development in Uganda and Rwanda will further boost market demand. Other countries the company is eyeing include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan. There are internationally funded projects worth USD 200m in Uganda and another USD 80min Rwanda, and East African Portland will seek to increase their share value in these countries and others in the region. Nyambok says that the firm will concentrate in the coming year on “developing its own power with the aim of ultimately shifting to use of coal by the end of 2009,” as well as attempting to reduce production costs through economies of scale.

JGW

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