The Indian cement industry notched up a growth of
14 per cent year on year in despatches in December 2002
the highest recorded in recent months. According
to the Cement Manufacturers Association, despatches in
December 2002 were 9.52 million tonnes 14 per cent
higher over the December 2001 figure of 8.35 million tonnes.
production during December was 9.69 million tonnes, up
17.6 per cent from 8.24 million tonnes in December 2001.
This was attributed largely to a revival in southern markets
as also to an increased demand from the roads sector.
CMA secretary general A V Srinivasan: If the trend
of 11-12 per cent growth a month continues, we could close
the year at 10 per cent growth. While housing has
been the key driver, there was also a boost from incremental
demand from roads construction and demand pick-up from
the southern states.
are down and housing loans are easily available at low
interest rates. While the roads sector contributes around
4-5 per cent of consumption, the main consumption comes
from housing construction and repairs, says Srinivasan.
April-December 2002, the sector grew 9.2 per cent in terms
of dispatches to 81.37 million tonnes (74.47 million tonnes).
Over the next few months, the industry expects an incremental
demand of 2-3 lakh tonnes from roads mainly from the Golden
Quadrilateral (GQ) and the National Highway Authority
of India (NHAI).
road projects, including GQ and NHAI, would consume around
5 million tonnes of cement-concrete when completed. Although
the road projects have been started some years ago, most
of the projects requirement for cement would come
towards the closing stages, when the roads would be paved.
This would lead to a good off-take, sums up Srinivasan.