Cement demand in the country is expected to decline at an annual average rate of 3.3 percent in the next five years. According to CW Research’s 2018 Maldives Cement Market Report, the decreasing trend is expected to happen after 2019, due to the completion of large-scale construction projects.
Filipe Gouveia, analyst with CW Research, observes: “While demand is expected to trend downwards in the following years, an expanding population and strong GDP growth rates will allow for strong levels in cement demand, higher than what had been recorded prior to 2015’s infrastructure projects. In the upcoming years, commercial and residential are going to be the main operational areas for the construction sector.”
The steady growth observed from 2012 to 2017 has resulted from a surge in 2015 caused by the start of the country’s mega projects in greater Malé. In that year, several large scale infrastructure projects were initiated by the government, including a bridge connecting Malé to Hulhumalé, and the beginning of the second phase of the Hulhumalé project – a relocation initiative aiming at providing better infrastructure for the country’s population through economies of scale.
An import-driven cement market
In the Maldives, cement is entirely supplied via imports, as there is no local cement manufacture. On the importing side, there are currently two companies who own cement silos in the country, Lafarge Maldives Cement and Villa Trading.
India, Malaysia and Indonesia are the most common origins of cement to the Maldivian market. When it comes to pricing, strong competition between Southeast Asian exporters and rising volumes have allowed gray cement import prices to remain stable over the previous five years, ranging from USD 80 per ton to 110 per ton.
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