Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit
Senior executives / traders from international / regional cement companies, ready-mix concrete companies, pre-cast & building materials companies, cement raw materials suppliers (slag, fly ash, steel, coal),construction / infrastructure / building / equity / research analysts, project financiers/banks, engineering, environmental & CDM consultants, technology & equipment providers, logistics & shipping companies (dry bulk and cement carriers)
“Major trends in cement / clinker movements amid increasing capacities & tight competition”
A slowing global economy coupled with over-supply in Asia’s cement markets is prompting cement producers to pursue opportunities overseas.
Siam City Cement (SCCC) has recently signed an agreement to acquire Holcim (Lanka) Ltd. from LafargeHolcim for $374 million. SCCC has also purchased all shares of Cemex Thailand and Cemex Cement (Bangladesh) earlier this year to strengthen its portfolio.
While SCCC looks beyond S.E Asia, Siam Cement Group (SCG) continues to build its footprint across ASEAN. It has completed capacity expansions in Cambodia and Indonesia last year, and expects to finish building its Myanmar plant in 3rd quarter 2016, while Lao’s plant should be operational by early 2017.
In Indonesia, 6 cement factories with a combined annual production capacity of 13.1 million tons will be in operations by 4th Qtr 2016, creating an even larger cement oversupply in Indonesia. Indonesia’s biggest cement producer, PT Semen Indonesia, is looking offshore as a supply glut damps profits at home. Rizkan Chandra, new President Director of PT Semen Indonesia, said he wants to raise sales outside of Indonesia to 10 to 15 percent of revenue over the next three years from 5.2 percent in 2015. The state-controlled company, which already has operations in Vietnam, may expand into Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
There are other bright spots to look out for! Demand for cement in India is likely to grow by 6 per cent this year and further rise to 7 per cent in 2017-18, with an improvement in infrastructure and housing projects. In the Philippines, cement maker enjoys strong market debut after Duterte’s infrastructure pledge. Vietnam’s improving construction activities has also boosted domestic cement consumption.
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|Comments from last year’s 17th Asia CemenTrade Summit, Oct 2015 in Bali|
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China – the world’s largest cement producer – needs to make huge cuts in its cement capacity as it faces massive overcapacity. It’s estimated that the country needs to slash as much as 500 million tonnes of cement-making capacity in a 3 year period. While this might seem like a small number given China’s whopping total cement capacity of 3.2 billion tonnes. It’s still significant when compared to cement production in the USA or Canada. It is an amount equivalent to more than four times the total U.S. cement production.
However, out of the massive cement production capacity in China, only 67 percent of it is utilized – leaving 850 million tonnes of slack. Cement production has been decreasing. In Q4 of last year alone, production plummeted 5.7 percent. Cement is the third major industry that is forced to cut back production following the Chinese slowdown.
However, China has been talking about cement production cuts since 2003. But this hasn’t happened in reality – partly as the country has found old patterns used to stimulate growth hard to abandon. Despite the slowdown, China witnessed a jump of fixed-asset infrastructure investments by 21 percent in April on a month-on-month basis. Interestingly, its loans to industries that are already ‘running at overcapacity’ actually rose in Q1 – although at a mere 0.1 percent (China’s Xinhua news agency reported).
As reported in The Globe and Mail, “When the market is poor, people will stop producing,” said Gao Zhi, dean of the cement industry consultancy at the China Development Strategy Institute for Building Materials Industry. But owners prefer a “zombie” factory – particularly one they can revive when conditions improve – over a dead one. “It will be difficult to really demolish the kilns or uninstall the grinders,” she said.
What does the cement cutbacks mean for other Asian producers such as India, Indonesia and Bangladesh? Find out more at CMT’s 18th Asia CemenTrade on 25-26 October in Bangkok.
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The Indonesian cement industry is expecting a big boost in demand after pledges of major infrastructure projects were released recently. The government has allocated as much as US $23.51 billion to mark its commitment to develop ports, roads and others facilities. The figure is a significant increase on the amount earmarked for infrastructure last year. In addition, government directives of lower bank finance are making it easier for companies to expand.
Last year, cement consumption grew by 3.4 percent but this year, based on increased government demand, the industry is poised to add 3 to 5 percentage points to that rate by the end of this year.
Cement producer Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa is confident that the interest rate cuts will boost their business this year, and attributed its optimism to the government’s 12 packages and deregulation measures. These pledges, together with Bank Indonesia’s series of interest rate cuts, have made bank financing more affordable and easier to do business in the country.
Find out more about the outlook for the cement industry in Indonesia, at CMT’s 18th Asia CemenTrade on 25-26 October in Bangkok.