BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Cement prices in China have showed a sign of recovery amid the expanding work resumption, according to the Xinhua-run Shanghai Securities News on Tuesday.
Cement producers in northwest China have recently announced to raise the prices of their cement products by 20-65 yuan/tonne. Similarly, those in east China's Zhejiang Province have also raised some cement products price by 10 yuan/tonne.
At present, the upstream and downstream industrial chains of the cement industry are gradually recovering.
As of March 20, the operating rate of 274 cement clinker production lines across the country was 71.9 percent. At the downstream, as of March 16, the actual resumption rate of construction projects was about 74.5 percent, according to a survey conducted by 100njz.com, an information provider in the construction industry.
"The resumption rate in our group has reached 96.6 percent," said a staff member of Anhui Conch Group, one of China's largest building material producers.
Cement prices in China kept rising since the fourth quarter of last year, which is usually the peak season for cement demand. After the Spring Festival holiday from January 24 to February 2, affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the suspension in construction projects weighed on the demand, leading to the decline in cement prices.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), as of mid-March, the prices of ordinary portland cement (P.O 42.5 in bags) and ordinary portland cement (P.O 42.5 in bulk) were 502.9 yuan/tonne and 443.4 yuan/tonne, respectively, down 4.5 percent and 6.8 percent compared to those in the mid-January.
"As the epidemic prevention and control continues to improve, traffic is gradually recovering and population flows are accelerating. Cement demand in east China is expected to return to normal level by the end of March and early April," said Hou Linlin, a cement analyst with SCI99.com, a commodity information provider in China.
The second and fourth quarters are the traditional peak seasons for cement demand and the third quarter is the low season. Due to the epidemic, construction projects are delayed. Given this, the third quarter of this year may see robust cement consumption, Hou added. (Edited by Hu Pingchao with Xinhua Silk Road, firstname.lastname@example.org)