Holcim’s Indian subsidiary, ACC Ltd, the market leader in the Indian cement sector, plans to step up exports to capitalise on the record depreciation of the rupee and to offset weakening local market demand, according to a report by DNA Money.
"The current rupee depreciation surely opens up a lot of export markets. The countries that we are mainly targeting are Maldives, Mauritius and Bangladesh," said Ramit Budhraja, chief executive-south-west region, ACC. The Indian rupee has depreciated by close to 20% against the US dollar since July. "This would not be a very significant percentage of our total volumes," he said.
However, due to capacity constraints at Indian ports and competition from other exporting nations such as China and Pakistan, such a strategy will be a challenge for the Indian producer, in spite of the benefits of a lower rupee.
Among the other Indian companies targeting the export markets is French Vicat group-controlled Bharathi Cement, which has a facility in India. The company has started exporting to markets such as Sri Lanka, where it has exported close to 1300t in the last two months and plans to take it to close to 10,000t a month shortly. "The end of the war in Sri Lanka is opening up a lot of funds towards building infrastructure. Cement from India has a quality advantage over that from the Chinese players," said Ravinder Reddy, marketing director, Bharathi Cement. He, however, does not expect this to turn into a significant percentage of the company’s total production volumes.