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Cement dispatches grow 8.5% in February

Mar 8, 2000

According to the Cement Manufacturer’s Association (CMA), cement production grew 9.6% (YoY) to 8.1 mt in February even as dispatches grew 8.5% to 8.2 mt. Cement production has grown 16% and dispatches 15.5% during the eleven months ended February 2000.

The February numbers once again highlight the fact that the gap between the supply and demand in narrowing. Indeed, cement prices across the country have been firming up in recent months. In the next two years demand is expected to grow at approximately 10% per annum even as capacity additions slow down to a trickle. This is expected to create buoyancy in the cement market.

The turnaround in the cement sector can largely be attributed to a spurt in (housing) construction activity. This follows the government's decision to give the housing sector a boost by giving various tax sops. However, investment related (from the manufacturing sector) demand has yet to pick up, as spending by corporate has been limited. Even the government’s initiatives in the infrastructure sector have been bogged down by the lack of funds. In view of these factors there is a fear that the rise in cement demand and prices may not sustain.

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