For the first time in 7 years, INTERCEM, the world’s leading cement industry event began in Bangladesh. About 300 delegates attended INTERCEM Dhaka which began on Monday.
Taking place in association with the Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA) and attended and supported by all the major domestic cement producers, INTERCEM Dhaka provides a forum for cement industry executives from across the region and further afield to meet, network and access market-leading presentations and forecasts on developments in Bangladesh and across Asia.
Founded in 1985, Intercem is the global leader in events devoted to market developments, production, trading, transportation and handling of cement and related products. More than 300 delegates from 30 countries are attending the event.
Bangladesh is the world’s biggest clinker import market, importing almost 19 million tonnes of clinker in 2018 from all across Asia and the Indian Ocean, from Saudi Arabia in the West to Japan in the East.
Cement manufacturers are going through a very challenging time because of an unhealthy competition caused by overproduction, market players said yesterday.
There are 37 active cement factories in Bangladesh with a combined production capacity of 58 million tonnes per year against a demand of 33 million tonnes, meaning the capacity exceeds the demand by about 43 percent.
The industry insiders said that the sector has run into trouble because of the unhealthy competition among the manufacturers and excess production than the demand. Hence, major market players may also face losses in the face of the unhealthy competition.
They also said that the industry was running at 55 to 57 percent of the capacity which is below the level needed to reach break-even.
While moderating different sessions, Malcolm Shelbourne, chief executive officer of Intercem, said the demand for cement in Bangladesh has grown 10 percent year-on-year in the last one decade, but per capita consumption was still at a relatively low level of 166 kilogrammes.
The speakers mentioned that the under construction Padma bridge project will consume 3 million tonnes of cement alone. Other mega projects will also need a huge amount of the key construction material. Bangladesh used to import 95 percent of its cement in 1990, but now the entire demand is met by the local industry, which has been growing by 15.6 percent over the last few years.
The market size of the sector is around $3 billion, or Tk 25,500 crore. Manufacturers have invested more than Tk 30,000 crore in the sector. Local companies are dominating the market. Of the total consumption, individuals account for 25 percent, real estate companies and developers 30 percent and the government 45 percent.
Shun Shing Group, Hong Kong, the owner of country’s top brand Seven Rings Cement is the national sponsor of the event.
The event is graced by other esteem sponsors, like Sesco Trading as global sponsor, Peakward as platinum sponsor, Premier Cement as premium sponsor, Global Group & M&B as gold sponsor.