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Drop In Cement Consumption Points To Reduced Real Estate Uptake

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Cement uptake dipped to 5.49 million tonnes in 2018 from 5.78 million tonnes in 2017,  Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has announced.

This is the second year in a row the uptake of cement is dropping, pointing to a reduced uptake of real estate which is the main consumer of the commodity.

This has forced manufacturers to slash production by 8.6 percent to 5.63 million tonnes from 6.7 million tonnes in 2016.

Among the most hard hit by the dip is Bamburi Cement, which has already issued a profit warning for the second year in a row.

Another manufacturer, Athi River Mining Company (ARM), has also felt the blow and was placed under administration due to piling debt and losses. 700 employees were also shown the door in 2017 in operating cost reduction measures.

Read: Deported MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte Sues Ugandan Government

East African Portland Cement Company (EAPC) has also issued a profit warning even as experts predict a worsening state in 2019.

In the year under review, the value of building plans approved declined by 12.6 percent (Ksh30.5 billion) to Ksh240.75 billion from Ksh210.29 billion in 2017.

This comes despite several government construction project being undertaken such as the SGR and road constructions.

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Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. He believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye. He has also carved himself a niche in writing business stories. He has worked for various organisations including Kenya Television Service, Business Today among others. Follow him on Twitter @FmuliKE.

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