Cement prices have been under pressure. Average pan-India prices declined 3 percent on a month-on-month basis in August. Rajneesh Kapoor, chief operating officer, JK Cement, shared industry perspective on the demand situation and the price outlook.
“All across the region, we have seen a price decline of close to 3 percent in the month of August,” he said.
“Traditionally, prices drop in the month of August as the monsoon is at its peak. However, this year’s August is slightly different. Starting from April till August, we registered some of the highest volumes, that was a surprise in terms of the market demand,” he added.
The company expects to be ahead of the market in terms of its volume growth. “We are going to be 10 percent ahead of the market,” Kapoor said.
He expects cement price and volume to pick up in H2FY22.
Going forward, the sentiment may start picking up in the month of September as the monsoon starts receding.
“Volume in Q3 and Q4 will be very good, capacity utilizations are going to increase and then October, November onwards, we should see an uptick in the prices,” he said.
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Demand has been very healthy. “Across all the zones, we have seen a demand increase of over 40-50 percent. I feel that going forward, this demand trend is going to continue therefore, it will be right to say that we have reached the pre-pandemic levels,” Kapoor stated.
He expects to see margin uptick of 1.2 percent in cement prices in September as compared to August.
“October onwards, I am quite bullish in terms of the price increase coming up,” he shared.
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video.