India: March sales likely to see monthly rise

India: March sales likely to see monthly rise
Published: 29 March 2010

A rise in demand from real estate and construction companies is likely to increase Indian cement sales by 12% to 20Mt this month compared with the same period last year. Cement sales grew 11% in January and 4.3% in February.

Cement companies are likely to announce the sales data on March 31. “Our initial estimates show that March sales will be higher compared with the first two months of the current year,” said Angel Securities cement analyst Rupesh Sankhe. He said sales could go up by 12% in March.

According to analysts, higher sales in March may also be due to inventory from February. “There was a shortage of wagons last month and many companies were unable to deliver the commodity to retailers,” Mr Sankhe said.

“Demand for cement is robust and the industry will see healthy growth in March, said Shree Cement managing director Hari Mohan Bangur. He said the growth momentum will continue as there are no dampening factors.

Apart from a revival in real estate, analysts said a sharp pick-up in cement consumption is also due to the government’s thrust on infrastructure. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the country needs to spend $1trb on roads, ports, power and other infrastructure between 2012 and 2017.