Thanks to the recovery of the domestic real estate market and the hike of prices of exports to America and Africa, Taiwan Cement Corp., Taiwan’s leading cement manufacturer, has decided to expand its output to 10.6Mt this year, up 8 per cent from last year and the highest in 10 years. A senior company official noted that indicated that expanded sales of cement products have helped the firm lower cost and boost gross profits. The price of cement has stayed at NT$2,250 (US$66.18) per ton in the domestic market since early last year, and the price is expected to remain unchanged at least until Chinese New Year, which falls on February 9.
Taiwan Cement foresaw a rosy picture for the international cement market in the next few years; and recent devastating tsunami in South Asia is for sure to fuel heavy demand for cement and worsen the supply shortage in the international market. Since the beginning of the year, Taiwan Cement has hiked its FOB price by US$8-10/t for cement exports to America, Africa, and Australia. FOB prices for the firm’s cement exports to America and Africa were quoted at US$34/t and US$24/t, respectively, in 2004, but they have jumped to US$40/t and US$30/t, respectively, for the moment.
Taiwan Cement usually exports some 200,000-300,000t of cement to Southeast Asia per year via its agents in Singapore and Hong Kong, and the company expects to boost cement exports to the area by 300,000t this year to meet the foreseeable soaring demand seen after the huge tsunami.
Asia Cement Corp, Taiwan’s another leading cement maker, turns out 5.6-5.7Mt of cement per year, with some 1Mt exported to Southeast Asia through its agent in Singapore. The firm also plans to increase its output this year to meet increased demand for cement for post-tsunami reconstruction use.