UAE cement companies yesterday said the performance in 2010 would not be anyway better than the past 12 months. Industry officials told Emirates Business that it would take another 18 to 24 months for the situation to improve in the UAE.
Cement production by members of UAE Cement Producers Association (CPA) dropped by 34 per cent in November 2009 compared to January 2009, said a senior official from the association.
While CPA members in January 2009 produced 17Mt of cement, by November the production level had gone down to 1.12Mt.
According to Mustafa Gorgunel, General Manager at Union Cement Norcem, which is a member of the CPA, 2010 will continue to be bad for the cement sector.
"In 2009 we started the year with production levels of 1.7Mt, where as we are starting 2010 at as a much lesser level. Naturally it is an indication of how things are going to shape up during the next 12 months," said Gorgunel.
Totally the UAE’s consumption from the CPA members in 2009 has dropped to about 17.5Mt this year, said Gorgunel.
It is similar to consumption levels in 2007 when the consumption was 17.24Mt. It went up to 21Mt in 2008.
Also in 2008 daily sales of the cement producers group went up to 77,882t, which was the highest ever. It was around an average of 52,000tpd in 2007.
"Profitability of cement companies went down as well and they are trying their best to minimise the impact," said Gorgunel.
According to him, Abu Dhabi, although better than other emirates, has not been as expected. "Even Abu Dhabi has postponed some projects and the business is not as much as it was expected. They are mostly doing infrastructure works," he said.