Caribbean Cement outlook

Caribbean Cement outlook
Published: 25 February 2009

Rather than cutting production in the face of contraction in domestic construction, which estimates place as high as 10 per cent down, Caribbean Cement Company Ltd (CCCL) plans to maintain its 2008 output levels and double its export target for this year.

The cement manufacturer’s marketing manager Alice Hyde told the Business Observer that her company was expected to send approximately 200,000t of cement overseas and has even shipped clinker to Trinidad.

We have sent shipments to St Kitts, Suriname and Guyana and we are currently looking at Haiti," she said. Her projection is for 200,000 tonnes of export.

Last October, Carib Cement’s general manager Anthony Haynes expected his company to export 100,000t of cement.

Carib Cement sold 569,216 tonnes of cement for the nine months to September 30, 2008 - 28,000t lower than the comparative period the year before - prompting them to look to the export market in a more serious way during the last quarter of 2008. For the December quarter the company exported approximately 40,000t of cement.

The price at which they sell the product overseas, however, is lower than local prices as it is viewed as surplus, according to Hyde. But maintaining production at similar levels to last year means that the company will not have to look to layoffs of other major cuts in the near future.

Additionally, having begun to experience higher efficiencies and savings through the completion of its new state-of-the-art kiln or Phase 1 of its US$170 million Expansion & Modernisation Programme, the cement company has rationalised its prices across the island, which translated into a reduction in price for some.

Outside of its Kingston and Spanish Town depots, Carib Cement has three locations - Mandeville in Manchester; Montego Bay, St James; and Discovery Bay, St Ann.