The Indian cement industry has posted a 10 per cent growth in both cement production and despatches for the first half of the year ended September 2005, clocking a double digit growth. While cement makers were predicting an eight per cent growth for the year, it has crossed expectations and has reached the 67.04Mt mark in production, 66.82Mt in despatches, for the first half of the fiscal 2005-06, posting a growth of 10.2 per cent and 10.3 per cent respectively. With the best period for the industry, January-March, ahead of it, cement makers are keeping their fingers crossed in hope that the growth momentum continues. "This has been one of the best growth in several years. The growth in the second half of the year will be on a higher base. Though the sales in September fell, we expect good growth this year," said DD Rathi, CFO, Grasim Industries. Though the first half of the year has been good for the industry, September turned out to be an unusually bad month.
Normally, the price of cement is the lowest in August, the peak of the monsoon season, when construction activity slows down. This year, the price remained robust in August due to ongoing activities in infrastructure. However, due to heavy rains in the western region last month, where some of the big cement manufacturing plants are situated, cement sales in September fell drastically.
Cement production and despatch grow by 10 per cent in H1 FY06 Best growth in the recent years for the industry September sales fell due to incessant rains in certain states Boom in domestic and export market to drive growth Gujarat Ambuja Cement’s September 2005 sales fell by almost 10 per cent to 0.958Mt and despatches also fell by 8 per cent to 0.97Mt. ACC Ltd also witnessed a 3 per cent drop in production to 1.252Mt. With the construction boom in the domestic market and infrastructure projects in the Gulf region, industry insiders are confident of a healthy growth for the industry this year.