Bhutan exports drop with growing domestic demand

Bhutan exports drop with growing domestic demand
Published: 09 April 2009

The Penden cement authority limited (PCAL) in Gomtu will reduce supply to the Indian market to meet a growing home demand.

“Around 15 per cent of sales to India will be reduced to meet domestic demand, which is always given priority,” said PCAL sales manager, Sherab Tenzing.

Domestic demand, officials say, has increased with more development work taking place in the country, especially the hydroprojects.

The authority’s deputy sales and marketing officer, Thinley, said that there was huge demand from India, as the price of Indian cement was higher when compared to Bhutanese cement. “It’s our first time supplying 500 MT per day to the agents,” he said, adding that usually it was only 300-350 MT per day.

In India too, the high demand for cement comes from hydropower projects such as the national hydroelectric power corporation (NHPC), which has two major projects in Sikkim and West Bengal, with a quarterly demand of about 60,000 to 70,000 MT each. Contractors working on major Indian projects, like the highway construction in Assam and Bengal, also put in requirements for ordinary Portland cement (OPC),

Of the total production, 60 percent was supplied to the India market, mainly in Assam, Sikkim and West Bengal, and the rest in country. Records maintained by PCAL shows a huge increase in demand, from 8,888t in February to 11,082t in March this year.

In January, the demand was only 8,354t. Last year, of the total production of about 108,000t, 26,000t was sold from January to March.

This year, till date, PCAL has sold about 28,000t. Sale of cement to India was recorded at about 180,000t last year.