Demand for cement hit by shutdowns

Demand for cement hit by shutdowns

The one-month closure of construction worker camps to curb the spread of Covid-19 has decreased domestic demand for cement and building materials by 20%, says Siam Cement Group (SCG), Thailand's largest cement maker and industrial conglomerate.

SCG said its cement, building materials and packaging businesses in Thailand and overseas were affected by lockdown measures, but the company's total revenue and profit increased, driven by its chemical business as the global economy is recovering.

The highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19 hit many countries within Asean, causing them to impose lockdown measures.

"In the Thai construction sector, we expect a slowdown and it is difficult for this sector to recover as the government will allow construction camps to reopen only if their protection against Covid-19 meets standards," said Roongrote Rangsiyopash, president and chief executive of SCG.

The company expects the outbreak in Thailand will continue to affect the economy and public health system for at least 3-4 months.

SCG yesterday reported its revenue in the first half this year rose by 27% year-on-year to 255 billion baht, thanks to higher prices of chemical products.

Its profit grew by 96% year-on-year to 32 billion baht due to various factors including equity income.

In the second quarter alone, revenue increased by 39% year-on-year to 133 billion baht thanks mainly to higher prices of chemical products, in line with higher oil prices.

Thammasak Sethaudom, SCG vice-president for finance and investment as well as chief financial officer, said SCG plans to spend 80-90 billion baht this year on business expansion and merger and acquisition plans. Most will go towards construction of the Long Son petrochemical complex in Vietnam, now 83% complete.

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