Uganda’s cement exports mainly to the region registered recorded 24 per cent increase in the calendar year ending 2018, a Bank of Uganda report has indicated.
Uganda exported a total of 393,052 metric tonnes of cement valued at $56m (Shs210b) in 2018.
Last year’s cement exports were higher than the 295,726 metric tonnes exported the previous calendar year 2017 valued at $41.6m (Shs156b).
In an interview with Prosper Magazine, Hima Cement’s public relations officer, Ms Caroline Kezaabu, said: “At least 30 per cent of our 2 million tonnes production capacity is taken up by the export market.”
Rwanda takes 22 per cent is and the remaining goes to DR Congo and South Sudan.
She said: “We are seeing our exports to South Sudan which used to be a major market before went through instabilities, now picking up since the year begun.”
While meeting the Trade and Industry Minister Ms Amelia Kyambadde players in the industry said there was high demand for cement exports from neighbouring countries especially Rwanda and DRC.
Demand for cement at the local market jumped to 30 per cent, up from 23 per cent on account of the construction sector.
The construction projects which consumed the cement were Karuma dam and Isimba dam plus some projects in the oil and gas industry.
Uganda’s cement production is nearing 7 million tonnes per annum with a 2.4 million local demand.
Tororo Cement Limited is the largest producer with an estimated 3 million tonnes of production equivalent to 44 per cent.
Hima Cement Limited comes second with 2 million tonnes in annual production capacity, indicating a 28 per cent.
Other producers are Kampala Cement and the newest producer – Simba Cement.
Kenya’s cement production fell by 8.5 per cent year-on-year to 5.64 metric tonnes in 2018 from 6.16 metric tonnes in 2017.
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics also shows that consumption decreased by 5 per cent to 5.49 metric tonnes from 5.79 metric tonnes. This follows drops in production and consumption since 2016.
Cement manufacturers are also being forced to battle for market share with cheaper imports from China, India and Pakistan.
Last year in March alone according to records from Uganda Revenue Authority, the country recorded a highest clinker importation - a key raw material for making cement.