Supply of cement will meet domestic market demands next year, according to the Ministry of Construction.
Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam said according to cement consumption figures this year, the ministry expected demand to reach 55-56.5 million tonnes next year with domestic cement production hitting 70 million tonnes.
A worker monitors a production line at the Binh Phuoc Cement Plant. Cement demand is expected to reach 55-56.5 million tonnes next year with domestic production hitting 70 million tonnes. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Van Viet
These projections included 19-19.5 million tonnes from the Viet Nam Cement Corporation, 17-17.5 million from joint ventures and the remaining from other cement plants, Nam said.
Next year, the production capacity of domestic cement producers could meet the domestic demand but producers would still need to import material for cement production. The ministry estimated the country must import 1 million tonnes of clinker, the main material for cement production, in 2012.
Meanwhile, the ministry estimated that this year's domestic cement demand would not increase against last years, he said.
The local cement demand in 2011 was predicted to reach 50 million tonnes, the same rate as last year, and lower than the target 54.5-56 million tonnes target.
In the first nine months of this year, the nation consumed 35.27 million tonnes of cement, or 65.2 per cent of the target.
The reduction in cement consumption was due to macroeconomic policies of inflation control and to reduce public investment which has led to the suspension of several construction projects, especially property projects.
The number of construction projects had been the leading factor in the lower domestic demand of cement, Nam said.
Lower consumption had pushed cement stockpiles up to 2.34 million tonnes at the Viet Nam Cement Corporation's member companies.
The corporation said its companies expected cement consumption recover in the last quarter of the year to reduce stockpile figures as construction was expected to rise compared to other quarters.
In the first nine months of the year cement producers had boosted exports to 3 million tonnes mainly to key markets in Laos, China and Africa, Nam said.
The ministry also expected cement export volume to reach 4-4.5 million tonnes in 2012, Nam said.
Head of the Viet Nam Cement Association's administrative office Nguyen Van Diep said export activity was a good solution to combat high interest rate loans and slow cement consumption on the domestic market.
The ministry would co-operate with the association to reduce production costs and complete a cement trading system to push the sale price down and increase consumption in order to stabilise the market, Nam said.
The corporation would work closely with joint venture companies to calculate the demand of cement each month and each quarter in the central and southern regions to facilitate cement transport through the country.
The ministry has also recommended the Government work out reasonable policies to increase production of key inputs for the cement industry, including electricity, coal and petrol, to ensure quality and supply of materials.