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Cement demand shows upturn in economic recovery
CHENNAI, FEB 22 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 23 Feb. 2010 12:15 AM IST
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Cement dispatches by major manufacturers grew by a healthy 12.6% year-on-year in January at 18.2 million tonnes. Cement production too registered a smart 12.8% growth. The figures look even more impressive against the backdrop of the massive 23.6 million tonnes of fresh capacity addition over the past 10 months and the price rise affected by cement companies, stated Times news. “Prices in February have risen Rs 5-10 (per bag of 50 kg) across all regions. Demand during January-February has picked up as normally seen at this time of year, chiefly due to an upswing in construction activity from both government projects and real estate activity,” analysts with Anand Rathi said in a note. Dealers expect strong demand and see no falling of prices in the near term, the note said. The central and western regions grew 14.3% and 13.1% (y-o-y), respectively. After rising an average 7% through April-December, dispatches in the southern region grew 12.9% (y-o-Y) in January, according to data from Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) and company sources. The capacity utilisation for the country stood at 92% as against 93% y-o-y and 91% month-on-month (m-o-m). At 76%, the southern region recorded the lowest utilisation and at 116%, the central, the highest. According to industry sources, prices in the northern market were up by Rs 4 to 5 a bag. “As usual, demand has picked up in February. Due to water shortage, no major project was initiated in some parts of Rajasthan. While prices in south have risen by Rs 5 to Rs 15 a bag, a slight demand pick-up has been supporting the price rise. In the eastern market, the price increase has been Rs 4 to Rs 5 while in Raipur it is higher at Rs 7 to 8,” the Anand Rathi report said.

 
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