Cement sales for the month of December last year in Andhra Pradesh touched an all-time high of 1.6Mt, triggering off the demand-supply gap speculation in the state for the first half of the current financial year. The figure is 23 per cent higher, compared with 1.3Mt during the corresponding month in 2005.
The total installed capacity of cement plants in the state is about 24Mt a year. Yet, the state was facing supply constraints as the companies here had to first fulfil their export tie-ups, which they had entered into with other states, industry sources said.
Meeting the increased demand in December was, however, not difficult. S R B Ramesh Chandra, president of the All-India Mini Cement Manufacturers Association, said the unutilised stocks for the months of September and October helped in meeting this demand over and above the per month availability of supplies in the local market from the manufacturers’ end.
Dispatches during the last month saw a sudden jump in consumption levels, compared with October and November, when supplies were at 12.1 lakh tonnes and 12.6 lakh tonnes respectively, as per industry estimates.
Companies attribute the increase in demand to general consumption coming from housing and other sectors in the state. But, they say, consumption from government sectors like housing and irrigation are yet to catch up with the projected requirement levels.