India: waiting for the party
More than a year after the electoral victory of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), expectations for higher cement demand growth rates still have not been met. Growth in the current fiscal year is forecast to be on a par with last year, but the latest data indicate signs of a positive change together with an expected uptake in the much-anticipated government infrastructure spend.
So far this decade, India’s cement demand growth has ranged between 4-7 per cent. The industry closed FY14-15 (ending 31 March 2015) with growth of 3.5 per cent, one of the lowest rates this century. The disappointing result came despite a strong first-half performance which saw demand advance by 10 per cent. By the third quarter (October-December 2014), the rate more than halved to 4.5 per cent and slowed even further in the final quarter (January-March 2015) to less than two per cent.