Cement companies reported more or less flat sales on a YoY basis in August, given the fact that there is a slowdown in construction activity during the monsoon period. Furthermore, several parts of the country were grappling with flood-like conditions, which further constrained demand.
As a result, the top four cement players have seen their sales grow by a mere 0.3 per cent YoY to 4.65Mt in August. Earlier, in July, these four companies had seen their sales improve 7.8 per cent YoY to 4.55Mt. However, analysts say there was a low base effect in July 2005, as many areas across the country were then flooded.
Cement prices have been strong on a YoY basis, given the earlier Supreme Court judgement banning overloading of trucks. In the Mumbai market, cement prices are currently pegged at Rs230 a bag vis-a-vis Rs 185 a year earlier, analysts say. In Delhi, prices are at Rs 205 a bag compared with Rs 160 a year ago. Other costs for cement companies such as imported coal have been more or less stable on a YoY basis, they add.