Siam Cement Group (SCG) of Thailand expects that domestic cement demand is likely to become normal in two years.
Mr Pramote Techasupatkul, SCG Cement President, has projected that domestic cement demand will likely fall 10 per cent from 25Mt last year, due to delayed investments in many projects, including the government’s mega-projects and infrastructure investments. Nonetheless, if domestic politics improve, cement demand should rebound over the next two years along with a recovery in the global economy.
The company’s capacity utilisation was 75 per cent in 2008, but would drop to 70 per cent this year due to maintenance at some plants during periods of sluggish demand. In 1997, the overall construction sector had halted for four years, then recovered fast but suffered from a shortage of some skilled workers. Thailand should use this situation to invest in infrastructure where the country could benefit in the long run over 20-30 years.
SCG Cement used to send a 30 per cent share of their exports to the US, but they shifted away to other markets in 2008 when they foresaw problems. Their major export markets are now South Asia and ASEAN countries. Others include Africa with 15-20 a per cent share and others.
Source: Thai News Service