Local Malaysian cement manufacturers should seek new markets abroad for their material by partnering Malaysian construction companies with operations overseas, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said yesterday. "Most of the big construction companies are venturing overseas with India providing the largest market for Malaysian companies. "This development provides an avenue for cement manufacturers to link up with the construction companies and diversify into new export markets," she said during the ministry’s annual dialogue in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Cement prices in the country are falling due to slower demand from the local construction sector, resulting in intense rivalry among manufacturers and a price war is under way.
According to Cement & Concrete Association Malaysia, the local market is dominated by four large cement producing groups - Lafarge Malayan Cement Bhd (with a 44 per cent market share), YTL Cement Bhd (24 per cent), Cement Industries of Malaysia Bhd (16 per cent) and Tasek Corp Bhd (13 per cent). The remaining 3 per cent is made up of other smaller players.
Total installed capacity in the country’s cement and concrete industry last year stood at 28.3Mt of which 17.1Mt were used, while sales touched RM2.8 billion with exports expanding 6.4 per cent to RM359.6 million. Out of the 15Mt of cement produced last year, 85 per cent was for the domestic market while the remaining 15 per cent was exported.