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PPC faces challenging South African market

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World Cement,

A lack of large infrastructure projects continues to dampen cement volume growth in South Africa, the country’s largest cement maker, PPC, said in a recent statement.

Overall cement demand in South Africa is estimated to have fallen by 3 – 4% in 2017. PPC reported volumes down between 1 – 2% on a year-to-date basis, an improvement on the 1 – 4% decline seen midway through the year.

Despite the muted demand, the company successfully raised prices in 2017, seeing an effective overall selling price increase of 2% year on year. This has been followed by another 2 – 5% price rise in January 2018.

“We have maintained our market leading position in South Africa, despite the competitive trading environment,” said interim CEO, Johan Claassen.

On the operational side of the business, the company’s Slurry Kiln 9 project remains on track for commissioning in 2Q18. The new kiln is expected to boost PPC’s position in the inland region “through cost, sourcing, technical, and environment efficiencies.”

PPC’s Western Cape operations have been impacted by an ongoing drought in the region, however, which has required the company to employ “alternatives from an operational perspective to ensure continuity of supply”.

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Cement news 2018