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Steppe Cement takes hit on lower demand

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World Cement,

Steppe Cement has announced a fall in revenue in 2016, as sales volumes and prices fell on a fall in cement demand in its home market of Kazakhstan. Cement consumption in Kazakhstan is estimated to have decreased to 8.9 million t, 8% lower than in 2015.

According to a company statement, revenues were 8% down for the year at KZT17.9 million. This compares to KZT19.5 million in 2015. Sales reached 1.6 million t, a 4% fall on the previous year.

The average price for Steppe’s cement also fall 4% to KZT11 426 per tonne, for which the company blamed “competition among local companies and the start-up of two dry kilns in the country during the year”.

The fourth quarter marked a shift in strategy, the company continued, as it tried to maintain higher prices at the expense of market share. “The strategy may be revised depending on the overall market reaction and the market share until the high season in 2017,” the company said. Steppe Cement’s market share remained stable at 17% during 2016.

Cement imports also took a hit, falling from 1.2 million t in 2015 to just 0.5 million t in 2016. Meanwhile, the country’s exports rose to 0.4 million t from 0.1 million t in the previous year.

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