Bangladesh floods

Bangladesh floods
Published: 06 August 2004

Squeezed by surplus production against falling consumption, the country’s
cement industry is now in a critical state as the current flooding has
triggered a 45 per cent sales drop of the key construction material.

Some leading manufacturers fear if the current flooding continues few more
weeks it will bring the cement sector down to earth as already a number of
companies have left of the sector due to to many producers fighting over too
small a market.

At present, some 40 operational companies have an installed production
capacity of 1.5Mta while the consumption is only 700,000t tonnes.

Floodwaters have entered many cement factory premises on the banks of Meghna
and Shitalakhya rivers. Though Chittagong factories have not been affected,
most of the flood-hit plants in Sylhet suspended their production.

The floods have led to a collapse in communication system of the country,
which affected the supply chain. Due to flood most of the construction works
have been halted resulting in as high as 65 per cent dip in consumption.

"The total consumption in Dhaka, Chittagong and Barisal has fallen by 50
percent, north Bengal by 60 percent and Sylhet by 90 percent," Alamgir
Kabir, director of marketing of Premier Cement Ltd, said referring to his
own research.