Caribbean Cement may resume exports soon

Caribbean Cement may resume exports soon
18 September 2020

Jamaica-based Caribbean Cement Co Ltd is awaiting the right conditions to resume cement exports. The Rockfort plant has excess capacity, despite sustained local demand for cement even during the pandemic.

"Export is something we will be considering, but it will always come behind the local market, which we prioritise," said General Manager, Yago Castro.

"The good thing is that we have some production capacity surplus, so, eventually, if the local market allows us, then we can allocate different amounts to the export markets," he said.

Caribbean Cement made a profit of JMD521m (US$3.6m) in the June quarter, up from JMD369m a year earlier. The gain was due to a two per cent increase in sales, from JMD4.7bn to JMD4.8bn, as well as lower debt financing charges due to a reduction in its US dollar debt.

"While it is still very early to fully evaluate the long-term effects of COVID-19 on our operations, we believe that this event has made us a stronger and more efficient organisation, which is a testament to the resilience and commitment of our employees and the robustness of our systems and operations," Caribbean Cement said in its financial report.

The company, which distributes under the Carib Cement brand, is proceeding with its capital projects, with much of the expenditure geared towards improving the facilities.

"Capital expenditure for the platform is basically US$8m to US$10m a year," said Mr Castro. "We are doing several things all around the plant, from the quarries to the packaging plant, and most of these projects are platform capex projects which mainly relate to upgrading the facilities."

Last year, the company's capex was JMD1.3bn, which included setting up four jumbo loaders, upgrading the kiln to improve airflow and new palletisers.

Published under Cement News