China cement prices drop for three consecutive weeks

China cement prices drop for three consecutive weeks
Published: 14 December 2011

Cement prices in China were down for the third consecutive week last week, dragged down by price declines in Sichuan and Qinghai provinces, falling 1.12 per cent from the previous week.

Industry experts predict a rebound in the cement market will only take place in the second half of 2012 at the earliest due to the expected slowdown in economic growth.

At present, the prices of P.042.5 cement and P.C32.5 cement in Xining were CNY290/t and CNY260/t, respectively.

Cement prices in Chengdu, Sichuan province fell CNY30/t last week, further dampening market sentiment.
Industry insiders attributed the fall in prices to insufficient demand, a lack of coordination between cement producers and inventory pressure.

The market is concerned about the state of the cement market in 2012 should there be no easing of the property curbs and the continued inability to eliminate the inventory of property developers.

However, Lei Qianzhi, chairman of the China Cement Association, said cement demand will not drop sharply next year.

Cement demand will continue to increase at 3-4 per cent even if GDP and fixed-asset investment growth fall to seven and 15 per cent over the next five years, said Lei.

Lei forecasts cement demand will peak at 2bnt during the period of the 12th Five-Year Plan.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the cement industry earned total profits of CNY84.6bn during the first 10 months of 2011, exceeding the CNY71.2bn recorded for the whole of 2010.