Chilanga Explains Cement Shortage

Chilanga Explains Cement Shortage
Published: 18 December 2003

Chilanga Cement, Zambia, has cited the increase in demand for cement on the local market as one of the major causes of the commodity shortages experienced during the past weeks.  Chilanga Cement chief marketing manager Faisal Nanavat said in an interview at the seventh national marketing conference at Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka that his company had been working out permutations on how they could satisfy the local market and at the same time maintain steady exports.  "Demand for cement has been increasing, especially on the local market. The demand has been higher than our supply on the market. The shortage has not been artificially created," said Mr Nanavat.  Mr Nanavat also denied speculations that the shortage was a ploy to increase cement prices saying Chilanga Cement has no intentions of increasing the commodity price: "We have maintained cement prices at K27,000 since June, and at least for now we do not intend to make changes to the prices."  He said the firm could not deliberately starve the local market saying the company had maintained 20 per cent exports with the remaining 80 per cent catering for the local market.  He also intimated that the company had experienced a break down on one of the kilns that played a major role in production, creating more pressure on the market.