China produced 179.68Mt of cement in the first quarter, a 1.4 per cent year-on-year increase. The output of clinker added up 122.59Mt in the period, rising by 8.2 per cent over the previous year. The sales of cement were 175.75Mt, only 4.33Mt more than in the same period of 2004, reflecting a gloomy market compared with the figures years ago. The inventory was 40.47Mt by the end of March.
The cement industry as a whole achieved 44.8 billion yuan in sales revenue, up 4.4 per cent year on year, suffering a loss of 348 million yuan. About 2271 or 45.38 per cent of the cement producers suffered from losses. The total loss amounted to 2.178 billion yuan, 1.208 billion or 124.47 per cent more than in the same period of last year. The loss-making situation was mainly attributable to the rising prices of coal and electricity, which boosted the production costs by 22.2 per cent, much higher than sales revenue growth.
The industry invested 5.7 billion yuan in fixed assets in the first quarter, down by 5.4 per cent over the previous year, including an additional 1.819 billion yuan, rocketing by 160.2 per cent. By the end of March, the sources of investment in fixed assets was 98.03 million yuan less than in the same period of 2004, with self-raised funds increasing by 257 million yuan and bank loans dropping by 143 million yuan.
There are 276 new cement projects under construction this year, 57 less than in the same time of 2004. Of this, 68 are new, 36 less than in 2004. 16 projects have already been put into operation. (Abstracted report from Asia Pulse)