Cement sales have grown 7.9 per cent as an increased focus on infrastructure projects has pushed up demand for the building material in the world’s second-largest cement market after China.
According to the Cement Manufacturers’ Association, industry sales grew to 167.67Mt, from 155.26Mt in the previous year. The growth has come from all players including large and small.
Cement sales of Aditya Birla group, the largest cement player in the country, rose 0.8 per cent in May to 2.66Mt while its production grew 2.5 per cent to 2.7Mt in May. The Birlas’ cement production comes from flagship Grasim Industries and UltraTech Cement, with a combined capacity of more than 31Mt.
The other large firm, ACC, which is owned 41 per cent by Holcim, said its January-March sales rose 7.1 per cent to 5.29Mt. The company which has a strong presence in the large markets of northern and eastern India, said its April production totalled 1.77Mt while sales in the same month were 1.74Mt.
ACC has the capacity to make 22.4Mta of cement. According to AL Kapur, managing director of Ambuja Cements, “The industry has added 25Mt of new capacity leading to the increase in sales.
This also indicates that cement demand is increasing on the back of housing and infrastructure growth.” Shree Cements, a mid-sized cement company, said its May sales grew 20.3 per cent at 5.56 lakh tonne.