Kazakhstan: Steppe Cement 1Q volumes down
Apr 15. International Cement Review
In the first quarter of 2015, Kazakhstan-based producer Steppe Cement reported a three per cent decline in sales volumes to 192,884t from 198,607t a year earlier.
The company said in a statement that the Kazakhstan cement market rose by eight per cent over the corresponding quarter of last year. However, Steppe Cement’s market share fell from 17 per cent in 1Q14 to 15 per cent in 1Q15.
Cement imports increased by 25,000t despite the new factory operating in west Kazakhstan while exports of cement from Kazakhstan fell by 50,000t.
The average price for the current quarter for delivered cement was KZT11,804/t (US$63) compared with KZT12,516/t in the corresponding quarter of 2014. The ex-factory price for the quarter fell by three per cent to KZT9956 (US$53) from KZT10,243 in 1Q14.
“The relative strength of the Kazakh Tenge against the ruble, has forced the local producers to lower prices to maintain market share. Steppe Cement chose in the first quarter not to compete aggressively for market share and we will review the strategy monthly depending on macroeconomic circumstances and competition,” the company said.
Although the market recorded a volume increase in the first quarter, due partly to good weather conditions, Steppe estimates Kazakhstan’s market growth to remain at 8.5Mt in 2015, a similar level to the year before.