Cement industry grappling with sudden changes, imposed by rains and a virus variant: N Srinivasan

#Budget 2022, #India Cements, #Indian cement industry, #N Srinivasan

N Srinivasan sees a massive movement of cement from the south to other parts of the country over the next five years. (Illustration: Suneesh Kalarickal)

You may like him. Or, you may hate him. But you can’t ignore him. 

Be it cricket or cement, he has the uncanny ability to provide a whole new perspective on the subject. He has a deep sense of history, a complete hands-on knowledge of the present and an insightful view of the future. All these make him an exciting personality to engage in conversation with. That is N Srinivasan, the indefatigable industrialist from the Dravidian land of Tamil Nadu.

The former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the managing director and vice-chairman of India Cements, a leading player in the southern part of India, articulates the varied trials of the cement industry with ease. In a free-wheeling chat in his office in Chennai on December 6, Srinivasan termed the last budget “path-breaking”.  

The rulers were quick to grasp the need of COVID-hit hour and went for an expansionary exercise, giving a go-by to the budget deficit number. “The last budget created a lot of enthusiasm and enormous hope’’ as it envisaged a massive infra investment south of the Vidhyas, perhaps for the first time. That was a major effort, according to him. But things did not go according to the script. 

The second wave of the pandemic and unprecedented rains across the country together changed the game, and for the cement industry in particular, according to him. “Rains persisted through and after the Ganapathi festival in the west, and then Onam in Kerala. South Karnataka was floating. And Tamil Nadu too saw incessant rains,’’ he said. So the hopes raised by the previous budget were belied. 

According to him, the industry expects to make up for lost demand in the remaining months of the financial year. “We are hoping that the pent-up demand will keep us busy up to March,” Srinivasan said. If the trend continues and the government continues its policy focus on infra, the coming year should be buoyant in his view. There is a rider, though. It all depends on the course of the pandemic. 

Viral shock

Parts of India especially North which have not been affected by rains have seen heavy infra spending, but the supply of coal has hit a bump. In the absence of supplies from America, the industry has relied on coal from South Africa and Australia, and they are of slightly inferior quality. Now the spread of omicron–the variant of coronavirus first detected in South Africa–is posing a new challenge. 

“Will the government stop movement of people and goods from South Africa? If it does, then that could force us to rely more on Australian coal with more serious cost implications,” he said. After all, the power sector is prioritised in the supply of Indian coal. 

Srinivasan and his industry peers are keeping their fingers crossed, waiting to see how the government will react to omicron. What if omicron leads to a lockdown? That fear is still lurking in the minds of many industry observers.

“If I take a scenario planning (of say five years), there will be massive movement of cement from the south to other parts of the county,” he said. The reasons are not hard to see. While plants in other parts of India are running at full capacity and aren’t planning for new capacities, plants in the South are running below capacity. Also, the South is where substantial limestone deposits are available. “We (south) have to supply a substantial part of coal demand in other parts of the country,” he said. In his view, this requires some sort of an incentive for the units in the South. 

Perhaps a telescopic freight rate for south units? The railways did offer it last year, though that was limited to cement clinker. “We have to supply the clinker to the grinding units in other parts for them to convert them into cement,” he said. There was a 20 percent freight concession for the south units, but it came with a rider–the railways set a benchmark supply for extending the concession to next year. “We have to supply more than what we did last year,” said Srinivasan, and that does not look possible in the current scenario. By some strange logic, the railways allowed a freight concession for clinker movement but not for cement!

Well, Srinivasan and other industry peers in this part of the world are asking for some kind of a mechanism–a lasting one at that–to allow for an equitable distribution of cement across the country. In the absence of it, profiteering will catch on.

News Related


UK to lift travel test requirements for the vaccinated

The Associated PressWorkers walk over London Bridge towards the City of London financial district during the morning rush hour, in London, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The British government have asked ... Read more »

Budget Session: Different timings for Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha in view of Covid

Representative Image Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will meet at separate times of a day for five hours each to ensure Covid distancing norms during the Budget Session beginning January ... Read more »

Russian gas transit to Poland suspended from January 19 — operator

Gas transit via Drozdovichi gas metering station stood at 3.77 mln cubic meters on January 17 Read more »

Kohl's confirms approach about potential acquisition

The Associated PressA pair of shoppers arrive at a Kohl’s, Nov. 26, 2021, in Everett, Mass. Kohl’s Corp. is confirming that it received letters expressing interest in acquiring the department ... Read more »

What's driving the spike in air rage incidents

There were more than 5,700 reports of air rage on U.S. airlines in 2021 compared with a typical year of about 100 to 150 cases. The surge in problem flyers ... Read more »

What makes thecryptocurrency market so volatile?

The price of Bitcoin has been fluctuating drastically in the recent years sometimes it rises as high as $65,000 and sometimes it drops down to $30,000. Additionally, most other famous ... Read more »

CCI imposes penalty on four maritime transport companies for cartelisation

CCI passed this order on the basis of available evidence which revealed that there was an agreement between NYK Line, K-Line, MOL and NMCC with the objective of enforcement of ... Read more »

Tips to guide you withyour first cryptocurrency investment

Digital currency has turned into an inexorably famous venture resource for investors. Regardless of its instability, investors seem quick to get on board with the crypto fleeting trend. The justification ... Read more »

Best Crypto Exchange 2022

Because of the mind-boggling development in digital money exchanging, more individuals than any time in recent memory are searching for the best crypto trade to collaborate with to contribute viably. ... Read more »

Figuring out Bitcoin

Bitcoin is Digital Money Indeed! In the same way as other different sorts of cash like the yuan, the dollar, the euro, and the ruble, Bitcoin is genuine cash. It ... Read more »

How to Invest in Cryptocurrency

Digital currency has moved into the standard as a speculation resource class. Assuming you’re hoping to add some to your portfolio, it could be hard to sort out some way ... Read more »

Importance of affiliate marketing

A lot of benefits for e-commerce businesses can be provided through Affiliate marketing. As per ongoing examinations, 81% of brands depend on affiliate connections since they include next to no ... Read more »

Top benefits of performance marketing

Performance marketingis a presentation-based type of paid promoting and publicizing where a business just pays once an ideal activity is accomplished. These activities – settled upon by the business and ... Read more »

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman edges past Jamie Dimon with $35M payday

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman’s compensation hit a new high in 2021. Bloomberg via Getty Images Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman raked in $35 million in total compensation last year ... Read more »

3 reasons to invest in COVID test manufacturer Abbott Laboratories

When it comes to underrated healthcare stocks that smart investors love, Abbott Laboratories(NYSE: ABT) takes the cake. While it might not seem as exciting as its similarly-sized peers in pharma ... Read more »

Gas reserves record low in European, Ukrainian UGS — Gazprom

As of January 22, the active gas volume in European storages was 26% lower than last year Read more »

Gazprom registers new daily record of gas supplies to China

Earlier, it was reported that Russian gas supplies to China during the first half of January were 1.5 times higher than the figure in the like period of the last year Read more »

Importance of crypto

A couple of years prior, in the event that you had referenced the expression “digital money” as far as I might be concerned, I would have envisioned cash of some ... Read more »

Guide for cryptocurrency

What is cryptocurrency? A digital currency (or “crypto”) is a type of payment that can course without the requirement for a focal financial authority like an administration or bank. Empowering ... Read more »

A small guide for cryptocurrency trading for beginners

What is Cryptocurrency Trading? Prior to getting straightforwardly to digital money exchanging, let us comprehend the significance of trading. Exchanging can be characterized as the conservative idea of trading resources. ... Read more »

How will the future business be transformed forever through cryptocurrency?

On the off chance that you haven’t exactly yet gotten used to the possibility of digital money, you are following some great people’s example. Just an expected 15% of Americans ... Read more »

Budget will have to find a balance between capital spending and borrowing

The Indian government will present the Union Budget 2022-23 on February 1, 2022. Besides giving the national accounts, the government will communicate its long-term agenda to several observers through Budgets. ... Read more »

ACM fines Apple 5 million euros in App Store case

Apple does not meet the requirements set by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in a decision on the App Store case. The company will therefore receive a ... Read more »

Future of cryptocurrency

Cryptographic money has turned into a worldwide phenomenon lately, albeit a lot is still to be found out with regards to this developing innovation. There are many worries and stresses ... Read more »

About Bitcoin and it's working

Working liberated from the oversight of banks or any focal control or state run administrations, Bitcoin is an advanced cash. It rather depends on cryptographyandshared programming. Copies of Bitcoin transactions ... Read more »

Inflation could lead Fed to hike rates more than 4 times in 2022: Goldman Sachs

Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the likelihood of several rate hikes. Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images The Federal Reserve could hike interest rates more times than expected this year as it aims ... Read more »

Advantages of bitcoin trading

Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency and an inventive installment network that was enrolled right after the 2008-09 emergency. Computerized money offers a few advantages, for example, lightning-quick exchanges and ... Read more »

Predictions for cryptocurrency in 2022

Cryptographic money has blast in ubiquity throughout the course of recent years, to the point that the elective venture class has basically gone standard. While Bitcoin was the first and ... Read more »

Bitcoin vs. Ethereum

It’s nothing unexpected that investors are keen on cryptographic forms of money. Bitcoin (BTC), the first in the resource class, was the single best-performing standard interest somewhat recently, and its ... Read more »

DDMA meet on January 27 likely to decide on weekend curfew, odd-even rule for opening shops in Delhi

Representative image Amid demands of lifting weekend curfew and odd-even system of opening shops by traders as well as the AAP and the BJP, Delhi’s apex COVID-19 management body DDMA ... Read more »

NFT collector Crypto Sauga launches 10,000 digital assets on WazirX NFT marketplace

Representational image. [Image: Shutterstock] CryptoSauga Star Club (CSS), a platform offering non-fungible tokens (NFTs), on January 24 announced a drop of 10,000 digital artworks on WazirX NFT marketplace. CSS is a project by ... Read more »

UK to scrap COVID tests for fully vaccinated travellers

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has appealed to people to get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19 at the earliest. (Representative image) Fully vaccinated travellers entering England will soon be exempt ... Read more »

Benefits of Using Apps in Crypto Trading

Cell phones have made some amazing progress, from gadgets that could settle on decisions and send instant messages to undeniable regular registering machines with applications and brilliant availability. With the ... Read more »

Strategies for Day Trading Cryptocurrency

The expression “informal investor” comes from the financial exchange, where exchanges commonly just occur during normal business hours on non-weekend days. One outstanding contrast when day-exchanging cryptographic money is that ... Read more »

Benefits of Review Websites

Assuming you are betting aficionado, you need to stake the cash in the best gambling club site. Be that as it may, realizing the best is difficult as we might ... Read more »

Reports about reducing gas supplies to EU amid sanctions are ‘fake hysteria' — Kremlin

In the most difficult moments of confrontation between East and West, Russia flawlessly fulfilled its contractual obligations, Dmitry Peskov recalled Read more »

Sonia, Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad among Congress star campaigners for first-phase poll in UP

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at a party briefing. (File image: Reuters) The Congress on Monday released its list of 30 star campaigners for the first-phase assembly election in Utar ... Read more »

Dutch regulator fines Apple €5m in dispute over dating app payment rules

Photo: Depositphotos.com Dutch consumers authority ACM has fined tech giant Apple €5m for failing to meet its requirements on payment systems for dating apps, which limit makers to using Apple’s ... Read more »

No assessment for capital in box 3 for the time being

The Tax and Customs Administration does not impose an assessment on people who have assets in box 3 ‘until further notice’. Due to a recent decision of the Supreme Court, ... Read more »

National Restaurant Association asks Congress for more grant money as omicron hits industry

People dine at an outdoor dining patio set up at a restaurant on March 18, 2021 in New York City.Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images The National Restaurant Association ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic