Skip to main content

Sri Lankan cement crisis continues

World Cement,

There is a reported shortage of 1 million 50 kg bags/month of cement in Sri Lanka, as price controls limit supplies and threaten the island's construction sector.

It is all quite reminiscent of the 'closed economy' days of 1970s, when shortages in materials and even food created by price controls, were common. Recently, one state agency got into a controversy for importing substandard cement.

"At the moment we can estimate that there are about Rs.1 billion worth of contracts being carried out," Rohan Karunaratne, President of the Ceylon Institute of Builders, is quoted as saying.

"The imports by the government are inadequate. On average the government imports range around 200 000 bags/month and this is even less than 20% of the required amount. We met [recently] with the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Cement Corporation …  and stressed that around 1 million bags are needed urgently to offset the shortage," he added.

Amid a weakening dollar that has sent most commodities rising to new highs, global cement prices have risen. Energy, key for producing cement, is also high.

According to local news reports, Holcim Lanka and Tokyo Cement, the local producers in Sri Lanka, can only supply 60% of the market. However, a significant part of Holcim's production and almost all of Tokyo cement is made by grinding imported clinker.

Cement firms have requested Sri Lanka's Consumer Affairs Authority to increase retail price of cement to Rs.785/50 kg bag. But the agency and consumer affairs minister Johnston Fernando has rejected the price increase.

Additionally, reports suggest that suppliers from countries such as Pakistan, where the bulk of Sri Lanka's cement is imported, have 'better offers' from other countries.

Read the article online at:

You might also like


Optimisation 2020

Optimisation 2020 provides a unique online forum for cement industry professionals to hear first-hand from experts through a series of exclusive presentations from cement producers and industry experts.

Find out more and register for the series »



World Cement Spotlight with Rockwell Automation

World Cement Editor, David Bizley, sat down with Michael Tay, Advanced Analytics Product Manager at Rockwell Automation to discuss his recent article in World Cement.

Entitled ‘Smooth Sailing’, this article explains how machine learning can help save energy, reduce downtime and predict equipment failures, thus enabling the smooth running of cement plant operations.

Watch the interview now »


World Cement Interview: IEEE East Coast Virtual Conference

David Bizley, Editor of World Cement, sat down with John Kline, Chairman of the IEEE East Coast Virtual Conference, to hear his thoughts on the impact of the pandemic on the cement industry, this year's virtual conference, and more.


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):