Demand for cement in India is likely to grow by 8-9 per cent in the current fiscal year, but prices will remain stable in the absence of any pricing war, JK Lakshmi Cement has said.
"The demand for cement grew by just five per cent in the last fiscal year compared to 12 per cent in the previous one. It is likely to grow by 8-9 per cent this fiscal year," JK Lakshmi Cement whole-time director Shailendra Chouksey told PTI.
Demand growth will stem from the government’s increased spending on infrastructure, particularly in the final year of the current Five-Year Plan (2007-12), and a spike in demand for housing, mainly in rural areas, he said.
However, he added that last fiscal’s subdued demand due to low housing activity and the slow pace of development of the country’s infrastructure as a result of the prolonged monsoon was expected to impact cement demand in the first quarter of the current fiscal year as well.
Elections in various states also hampered demand for cement, he said.
Coupled with poor demand and increased capacity addition, cement makers’ plant utilisation plummeted to just 76 per cent last fiscal in the western and northern regions, where JK Lakshmi Cement primarily markets its product.