Local cement sales have witnessed a fall of 13 per cent from 1.95Mt in July 2007 to 1.69Mt in July 2008. The decline in local sales is primarily due to skyrocketing construction costs amid the increase in steel and cement prices, JS Research reported. Moreover, the monsoon season has also affected the cement off-take.
Overall sales growth, however, was supported by a robust growth of 77 per cent in export sales owing to the regional cement shortage. Out of the total exports, around 450,000-460,000t were exported through sea to the Middle East, Africa and Sri Lanka, while around 51,000t were exported to India through both rail and sea.
Cement exports are expected to remain buoyant as a significant shortage persists in the regional countries. But local cement sales are expected to remain low due to high cement prices and a slowdown in construction activities.