Thailand’s cement industry growth in 2007 is expected to driven mainly by a domestic demand while exports of the product will be affected by the baht appreciation and global economic slowdown, according to Kasikorn Research Centre.
Revealing an analysis report on “Direction of Cement Industry in 2007,” the leading think tank reported the cement production in the first nine months of this year totalled 30Mt, up 4.8 per cent compared with 8.1 per cent in the same period last year.
Domestically, total cement sales in the first nine months of this year were 21.8 million tonnes, down 2.5 per cent from 22.3Mt in the corresponding period the year before.
KRC projected total cement sales for the whole year were 29Mt close to that of last year.
It forecast a cement demand would increase from late this year onward since there would be a rehabilitation and repair of flood-hit houses and buildings following an easing of the major inundation.
KRC said cement prices in the local market are expected to increase on par with rising energy costs.
The export of cement in the first nine months of this year totalled 11.1 million tonnes, up 20.8 per cent from that of the same period the year before, because cement producers turned to stress exports as the local market had slowed down.
Next year, it expected the cement industry growth would be driven mainly by higher local demand for investment in construction and property business.
The cement exports are likely to be affected by an expected appreciation of the baht next year and a possible slowdown of major economies like the United States and European Union, said KRC