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Local cement production up; imports decline amid higher tax

11 December 2020 09:26 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Sept. cement output up 28.7%; cumulative production up 8.5%
  • Sept. cement imports down 19.7%; cumulative imports down 33.1%

Local cement production continued its climb for the fourth consecutive month in September, indicating that the construction sector is forging ahead, as the virus-related shocks in the economy dissipate.  


According to official data, the growth in domestic production of cement accelerated to 28.7 percent to 375,000 metric tonnes in September, from the same month in 2019. 


In August, the local production of cement was up by 17.4 percent to 392,000 metric tonnes. 


Domestic cement production and imports recovered for the first time in June, after the setback from the coronavirus-related lockdowns that ended in mid-May.


With the September data, the cumulative production of local cement is now up by 8.5 percent to 2,824,000 metric tonnes in the first nine months, compared to 2,602,000 metric tonnes in the same period, last year. 


Mimicking the national production uptrend, Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) PLC, the country’s largest locally owned cement manufacturer, reported 13 percent higher revenues at Rs.11.4 billion and 163 percent higher profits at Rs.2.12 billion for the July-September quarter, over the same quarter in 2019. 


It was announced this week that Lanwa Cement is set to commission its state-of-the-art cement production facility in the Mirijjawila EPZ in Hambantota in June, next year. It will add 3.6 million metric tonnes in total capacity, once completed. 


Adding further tailwind into the country’s construction sector was the mortgage-backed housing loans that were introduced at an administratively capped rate of 7.0 percent by the Monetary Board from yesterday. 

Meanwhile, the imported cement declined in September by 19.7 percent to 300,000 metric tonnes, from 374,000 metric tonnes in the same month, last year. 


The cumulative imports for the nine months were now down by 33.1 percent to 2,542,000 metric tonnes, from 3,802,000 metric tonnes in the comparable period, last year. 


The cess imposed on imported cement soon after the pandemic resulted in Rs.54 increase in 50kg bag of imposed cement and Rs.47 increase in 50kg imported bulk cement. 


Meanwhile, the total cement usage, both locally produced and imported, in September was up by 1.6 percent to 676,000 metric tonnes, while the cumulative aggregate cement used for the nine months was down 16.2 percent to 5,366,000 metric tonnes. 

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