The Costal Shipping and Cement Industry of Bangladesh: Recovering from the Pandemic Wave
The cement industry of Bangladesh has beenrecognized as one of the fastest growing cement markets worldwide, with a double digit growth rate over the last decade, and an annual demand of around 33 million tonnes. This is owing to the construction of mega projects undertaken, and the constant infrastructural development on way to further develop the nation. Yet Bangladesh remains as one of the least cement consuming nations in the world
topped by China, India, Myanmar etc. The deadly wave of the Coronavirus, followed by lockdowns has had an adverse impact on an industry that employs over 10,60,000 people directly and indirectly. Disrupted supply chains, halted projects, and fluctuating exchange rates have made it challenging for cement manufacturers and exporters to maintain a smooth business flow as companies incurred losses and capacity remained underutilized. However, investors remain hopeful of the future as they approve fund to enhance the cement production capacity of Bangladesh.
As we speak of exports and imports, a crucial industry comes into focus – the Coastal Shipping industry of Bangladesh, which not only assists trade but plays a vital role in the inland waterway transport system. Lightering vessels,in particular, have played an important role in assuring safe offloading process from Mother Ships as ports in Bangladesh are not deep enough for many international ships to navigate through. Necessary lockdowns, to contain the virus, have forced trade levels down, allowing only drugs and other essential commodities to be traded. This put lightering vessel companies in a state of despair as they struggled to cover their overheads with minimal business activity. However, as lockdowns slowly recede and several mega projects start construction,the industry is showing promising growth prospects.
IDLC Finance Limited