Cement consumption in India recorded a 6 per cent increase during 2004-05 over the previous fiscal year. Cement consumption growth in Chhattisgarh stood at an impressive 45 per cent, followed by Bihar at 21 per cent while Jharkhand, Orissa, Haryana posted 14 per cent growth in the last fiscal, according to Cement Manufacturers Association’s latest updates. However, southern states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka registered negative consumption growth. Kerala, in contrast, posted a three per cent growth in 2004-05. Madhya Pradesh clocked a 13 per cent increase in cement consumption while both Gujarat and Delhi posted an 11 per cent rise during the review fiscal. Interestingly, the main agricultural state Punjab posted a three per cent negative consumption growth showing that the delayed monsoon last year had affected farm incomes and construction spending.
In region-wise category, the highest consumption growth took place in eastern region at 16 per cent, followed by west at 9 per cent, central region 8 per cent and the north at 6 per cent while southern region witnessed a 2 per cent negative growth in 2004-05. Uttaranchal, West Bengal and Maharashtra recorded an 8 per cent increase in cement consumption. Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh recorded a 5 per cent consumption growth during 2004-05. Cement demand in the medium term is expected to grow by around 7-8 per cent, an industry expert said.