Sri Lanka’s cement demand is expected to grow between six and seven per cent in 2010 driven by reconstruction demand from former war-torn areas, a top Sri Lankan cement maker said.
"We feel that coupled with the increase in reconstruction in the North and the East cement demand will grow by 6-7 per cent this year."
Holcim is the island’s only integrated cement maker, which produces cement from limestone and it also has a grinding plant. Tokyo Cement, a listed group operates several grinding plants.
A war in Sri Lanka’s northeast ended in May 2009, along with a balance of payments crisis, and interest rates have come down with the monetary authority ending contradictory policy.
Lower interest rates have also paved the way for a recovery in a burst housing bubble.
Official data showed that the cement market was growing by double digits in 2010.
In March local production grew 5.1 per cent to 143,000t, and imports rose 9.4 per cent to 326,000t from a year earlier.
"There is an increased demand from all areas of the country," Manilal Fernando, chairman of the Sri Lanka unit of Holcim, said. Data released by the Central Bank showed that in the first quarter of 2010 local cement production grew 10.6 per cent to 417,000t and imports grew 12.5 per cent to 486,000t from a year earlier.