Wednesday, 17 September 2014 13:27

PPC exports to Africa offset slow sales in SA

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Cement maker PPC says its exports into the rest of Africa are more buoyant, particularly into the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bheki Sibiya

PPC chairman Bheki Sibiya said in a statement that the domestic market was being weighed down by slow economic growth and a lack of infrastructure investment, "coupled with increased competitor activity and rising imports".

PPC and other producers recently lodged a claim with trade authorities that bagged cement from Pakistan is being dumped at a 48% lower price than is the normal value in Pakistan. PPC is constructing plants in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Congo, as well as a mill in Zimbabwe. It is also conducting feasibility studies for a project in Algeria.

Export volumes into Africa "have shown good growth, particularly out of the Western Cape into the Congo, where we are starting to establish a market whilst we build our plant", Mr Sibiya said. PPC's joint MD of its domestic cement business, Richard Tomes, said the company was shipping cement from Cape Town to Congo's port of Matadi.

PPC had been regularly exporting cement to the country since March, with each shipment averaging 16,000 tons. Mr Tomes said not all this cement was being sold in the local market, as some of it was used by PPC in the construction of its plant.

"PPC expects the amount of exports to the Democratic Republic of Congo to increase with the ramp up of the construction programme for their plant." Meanwhile, Mr Sibiya said "further growth opportunities continue to be investigated".

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