Egypt does not need to extend a ban on cement exports that expired on Wednesday, the country’s trade minister said.
"Today while we sit here, the ban on export of cement has expired," Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid said at a business conference in Cairo.
"Supply and demand mechanisms in the market ensure that our domestic needs are secured, and that there is no need to interfere in the market," said Rachid.
Cement demand in Egypt rose 25 percent last year, driven largely by housing needs of a growing population and a cash-fuelled economy, but has since slowed.
The government said last month it planned to offer new licenses for 12 cement production lines as it aims to boost output by 40 percent by 2015.
With new capacity being added between 2011 and 2015, analysts have forecast a surge in production that may lead to an oversupply in the next three years or so.
The ban was imposed in 2009 after surging demand drove prices higher. Egypt had also banned cement exports for six months in 2008.
Cement producers in Egypt include the local unit of Lafarge and Egypt’s largest listed cement firm Suez Cement, which controls Helwan and Torah Cement. Suez is a subsidiary of Italcementi.
Egypt was the world’s fifth largest cement exporter in 2006.