India: Finance company ICRA reported all-India cement sales in the first half of the 2022 financial year of 124Mt, up by 22% year-on-year. Mint News has reported that the total value of cement sales rose by 5% in the period compared to the first half of the 2021 financial year. Producers’ raw materials costs rose by 16%, while power, coal and petcoke costs rose by 26% and freight costs rose by 7%. Granulated blast furnace slag (GBFS) and gypsum prices also rose.
ICRA corporate ratings assistant vice president and sector head Anupama Reddy said "Despite some easing in the cost-side pressures, the input costs are likely to remain elevated in the near term, and are expected to exert pressure on operating margins, which are likely to decline by 200 to 230 basis points (BPS) in the 2022 financial year as a whole. While the capacity additions are expected to increase year-on-year in the 2022 financial year, the reliance on debt is likely to be lower owing to the healthy cash generation and strong liquidity of the cement companies. The debt coverage metrics are expected to remain strong in the 2022 financial year."