Cement Price hikes in India in H1-2010 – Merrill
As India is entering the peak season for construction (January to June), the industry reported a surge in cement demand of around +13% in January, Y-o-Y. Cement companies have witnessed strong volume growth on the back of increased government spending on housing, roads, ports & power stations and the momentum is expected to continue.
According to recent interviews of local companies’ management north India demand is robust and prices were up Rs10-18 per bag in the past month to c. Rs250 (+4-7%) and are expected to continue to rise. There is a strong demand in north-east/central India and prices spiked to Rs300 per bag. In east India, strong infrastructure demand boosted the prices. In west India, housing demand has improved and the cement prices stood up by Rs5-10 per bag. South India prices continue to be under pressure (on average Rs160/bag) as supply exceeds demand.
About c.40-45mt of new capacities will be commissioned in 2009-10E, of which 40% should be in the south of the country, more prone to pricing pressures in H2-2010 when demand will also be slack.