Looking to the West

Published 08 June 2020

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Weiping Ma, CEO of West China Cement, provides an update on the company’s operations and the virus’ impact on the Chinese cement industry. Ian Riley, CEO of the World Cement Association, of which the company is a member, also provides some essential context.

Figure 1: the Chinese operations of West China Cement

ICR: What is West China Cement’s corporate background and how had it been performing pre-coronavirus?
Dr Weiping Ma (WM): The company is ranked around 11/12th in the Chinese cement industry in terms of size, with a cement capacity of close to 30Mta. However, there is overcapacity in the whole industry and we are rarely able to produce that much. Last year we sold 19Mt and this year we plan to sell 20Mt. In general, the utilisation factor is around 66 per cent. This reflects the larger situation in China. The country’s utilisation rate is around 65 per cent, meaning one-third of capacity across the country is idle.

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