Orient General Trade is an important part of the cement industry. It is not just the volume and price of the materials moved, but also a strategic tool in running a profitable cement Trading. The key issue is that cement shortages in one area are levelled out with excess capacity in another. This means that the companies that have this capability can bring the utilisation of their plants to a higher level. The cost savings of this higher plant utilisation are often larger than the margins made on the actual trade and distribution.
However, cement trade and distribution is not a simple open market. A waterside cement plant with ship loading capabilities appears to be in an excellent position to export or distribute its surplus capacity, but without a trading network and firm receiving destinations it cannot ship anything. Oriant can consist of clinker in bulk, cement in bulk and cement in bags or big bags. Clinker and cement in bulk makes up the vast majority of Oriant trade (83 per cent) and domestic distribution (86 per cent). The owners of the receiving facilities (ie the grinding plants and bulk terminals) control the cement and clinker trade and distribution.