5 September 2018

Zimbabwe: Cement Shortages Temporary, Says Producer PPC Zimbabwe

The cement shortage currently being experienced around the country is just a temporary supply glitch, leading producer PPC Zimbabwe has said.

Cement has lately been in short supply in the country resulting in prices more than doubling to $25 per bag.

However, in a statement Tuesday evening PCC Zimbabwe managing director Kelibone Masiyane assured the market that there was enough production to meet demand.

"While we cannot speculate about other industry players, I would like to assure the market that PPC Zimbabwe factories have the ability to supply the existing market with quality products," he said.

"As a reflection of our continued commitment to Zimbabwe, we commissioned a USD 85 million Harare milling plant in March 2017 in anticipation of upsurge in the cement demand.

"This investment has allowed us to fully serve the growing northern market of Zimbabwe better and more efficiently."

The industry has the capacity to produce over 2 million tons of cement per annum, enough to satisfy current market demand estimated at 1.3 million tons.

PPC Zimbabwe is currently operating at peak capacity following the planned annual maintenance undertaken in July 2018 at Colleen Bawn factory in preparation for increased demand anticipated towards the latter part of the year.

"PPC Zimbabwe remains committed to support government's infrastructure development programme and our loyal customers," the company said.

"The annual maintenance has achieved its objectives of unlocking efficiencies and optimising production."

"On the escalating retail prices, the PPC Zimbabwe managing director said his company not increased prices since April 2012 in support of the country's developmental objectives.

"As a company, we appeal to our customers to avoid panic buying as this is likely to compound the situation," said Masiyane.

"We are continuously engaging our retailers to act responsibly with regards to cement "pricing in the market.

"We further advise customers to procure their cement requirements from our approved stockists."

The company is also implemented "various initiatives, to mitigate the liquidity situation in the country.

"These initiatives include exporting 2% of our production capacity to neighbouring countries, and local sourcing of input materials to ensure that the domestic cement supply is not compromised."

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