THE cement industry warned of further layoffs and reduced operations, citing declining demand and competition from imports being “dumped” onto the Philippine market from Vietnam.
“As it stands, the Philippine cement industry has been forced to downscale operations as imports continue to cannibalize the market, and in certain cases lay off workers due to the worsening market situation,” said Cement Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (CEMAP) in a statement on Tuesday.
“With the projected increase of cement imports, manufacturers will be forced to further downscale operations until demand recovers or importers cease dumping and exploiting the local market,” it added.
According to CEMAP, the production capacity of the cement industry far exceeds expected demand in 2024.
The industry increased capacity by 17 million tons per annum over the last five years, bringing capacity to 53 million tons in 2024.
Meanwhile, CEMAP said demand continues to contract and is currently forecast at 34.5 million tons in 2024.
“Despite the more than adequate supply, the industry continues to be plagued by continuing influx of imports, mostly from Vietnam, despite the imposition of dumping duties on certain manufacturers and exporters,” it added.
In 2023, importers brought in 7 million tons, which CEMAP said is expected to increase amid the 6% contraction of the Vietnamese cement market, which could result in the shipment of more of Vietnamese output to the Philippines in the coming months.
According to CEMAP, the cement industry accounts for at least 1% of gross domestic product and employs 130,000 directly and indirectly. — Justine Irish D. Tabile