Bangladesh's cement sector sees signs of recovery in demand

Bangladesh's cement sector sees signs of recovery in demand
17 August 2020

Premier Cement of Bangladesh has reported that the cement sector has been showing some signs of recovery for the last two months, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The sector had been reeling from the unprecedented collapse in demand in April and May because of the pandemic, which hammered activity and brought the construction sector to a grinding halt. However, activity has begun to pick up and are now back almost to the pre-pandemic level in June and July.

"The economic front of a developing country like Bangladesh can't remain silent for long. Demand will start to rise bit by bit and things will look up soon as cement is a basic ingredient," said Mohammed Amirul Haque, managing director of Premier Cement.

"We have got some orders from the construction sector and our factory is booked until next September," Mr Haque said.

While demand has been restored, many producers are still operating blow capacity. "The sector is yet to turn around to the fullest as factories can utilise only half their production capacity now," said Alamgir Kabir, president of the Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA).

"Not only the COVID-19 pandemic but also the countrywide floods have wreaked havoc on development work and the cement sector is bearing the brunt," said Mohammad Shahidullah, managing director of Metrocem Cement.

In addition, the manufacturers have been unable to collect payments from dealers and contractors as they too were disrupted by the pandemic.

Because of the pandemic, the growth of the sector will come down to seven per cent this year from the 12-15 per cent average growth it achieved in the last few years, said Asadul Haque Sufiyan, chief operating officer of Bengal Cement Ltd.

Published under Cement News