PPC exports take a knock

PPC exports take a knock

BULAWAYO, March 16 (The Source) – Regional cement producer Pretoria Portland Cement says exports from its Zimbabwe operations have taken a knock, accounting for only 10 percent of cement sales volumes although local sales were encouraging.

PPC’s only cement plant in Zimbabwe located in Bulawayo produced around 600,000 tonnes of cement last year while operating at 75 percent of installed capacity.

In an update of operations for its first five months of its financial year released on Monday, the South African group said it still enjoys a strong market position in Zimbabwe and has recorded growth in the country, as well as in Botswana and Rwanda.

“In-country (Zimbabwe) cement sales volumes exhibiting a pleasing trend while export sales have reduced. Export sales currently make up about 10 percent of total cement sales volumes,” said the group.

It added that there has been a limited growth in domestic selling prices although exports prices, despite the decline, have remained attractive.

The group also has lime clinker plant in Coleen Bawn in Matabeleland South but the bulk of its cement market is in Harare.

It is constructing a $75 million Harare plant, which will have capacity to produce 680,000 tonnes annually in Harare.

The group said construction was on course and commissioning remains set for next year.