The ban on cement exports imposed last year has significantly pushed down overall exports of the building material, hitting an eight-year-low in FY09. Industry players and analysts said the current financial year might not be any different and exports would around the same levels.
The domestic cement industry exported 3.2Mt in 2008-09, merely 1.76 per cent of its production of 181.42Mt. It was only in 2000-01 that the industry exported 3.15Mt, less than that in FY09.
Hari Mohan Bangur, president of the Cement Manufacturers’ Association, said, “The decline in exports was mainly on account of the ban on cement exports, which was later partially, and then fully lifted.”
The government banned cement exports in April last year to rein in inflation. Within two months, however, exports were allowed from Gujarat - the state which makes up 90 per cent of the overall Indian cement exports. The major chunk of exports head for Iraq, Qatar, Nepal, Sudan, Yemen, Mozambique and Sri Lanka. Cement makers like Ambuja Cements, UltraTech and Sanghi Industries are the dominant players in the export market owing to them being coast-based units.